Venus Williams earns long-awaited victory in Auckland

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Venus Williams is back in the win column. The 42-year-old Williams beat qualifier Katie Volynets 7-6 (4) 6-2 in the first round at the ASB Classic for her first singles victory since Wimbledon in 2021. The seven-time major champion has been awarded a wild-card entry to play at the Australian Open. She ended a nine-match losing streak on the WTA tour dating back two years. Her only singles victories in that time came at Grand Slam level, most recently in a first-round win at the All England Club in 2021. She was 0-4 in singles last year. Earlier Monday, Leylah Fernandez opened her 2023 season with a 6-1, 6-1 win over 15-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova.

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