Venus Williams of the U.S (Photo: Reuters)
Venus Williams overpowered Mona Barthel of Germany 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the Pan Pacific Open.
Williams needed just 1 hour, 4 minutes at Ariake Colosseum to dispatch Barthel and set up a second-round matchup with top-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who has a first-round bye.
Top-ranked Serena Williams, who won her 17th Grand Slam singles title at the U.S. Open, pulled out of the $2.3 million tournament, saying she needed time to recover from a busy summer playing schedule.
No. 3-ranked Maria Sharapova also pulled out of the Tokyo tournament because of a right-shoulder injury that kept her out of the U.S. Open.
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