Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Two-time champion Venus
Williams was a first-round winner, while her promising fellow American
Sloane Stephens exited the draw Monday at the $2 million Dubai Tennis
The 33-year-old former world No. 1 Williams handled Russian Elena Vesnina 6-3,
6-2, while Stephens gave way to Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 7-5 on the
hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium.
Williams titled here back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.
Also on Day 1, Ekaterina Makarova outlasted fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova
6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 and Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro handled former top-10
Russian Nadia Petrova 6-3, 6-2.
This week's top seed is reigning U.S. and French Open champion Serena
Williams, who will open her Dubai stay against Makarova after enjoying an
Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded third this week, beat former
French Open finalist Sara Errani in last year's Dubai finale.
The Sports Network