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Rediff.com  » Sports » Venus returns with victory over Petkovic at Eastbourne

Venus returns with victory over Petkovic at Eastbourne

June 13, 2011 21:12 IST

American Venus Williams marked her return from an abdominal injury with an impressive 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Germany's Andrea Petkovic at the Eastbourne championships on Monday.

The five-times Wimbledon champion, playing her first match since January's Australian Open third round when she retired after one game also against Petkovic, looked completely at home on the slick grasscourts.

Despite opening the contest with two double-faults in difficult windy conditions on the southern English coast, she battled back from a break down to take the opening set.

Petkovic, one of the most improved players on the Tour this year, hit back to level as the sun broke through on centre court but Williams, who turns 31 this week, raised her game when it mattered to claim victory against the eighth seed.

Neither Venus nor sister Serena, who stole the spotlight on Monday despite not even playing after her decision to return here after a year out with injury and a life-threatening illness, are seeded at the traditional Wimbledon warm-up.

Venus has not played at Eastbourne since she came through the qualifying rounds in 1997 while Serena, the 13-times grand slam champion, made her only appearance a year later.

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