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Venus Williams powers past Japan’s Risa Ozaki to ease into second round at Hong Kong Tennis Open

Venus Williams delighted a packed Centre Court on the opening day at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open on Monday with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Risa Ozaki to seal a comfortable passage into round two.

The American, a consistent visitor to Hong Kong since her first excursion back in 1999, was scheduled first up on a baking hot ‘People’s Monday’ seemingly in an effort to begin proceedings with a bang and she didn’t disappoint.

Her explosive forehands and a series of darting ground strokes proved too much for the spirited Ozaki, who provided stubborn opposition in a to-and-fro opening set.

Watch: Venus Williams storms through the opener in front of a full house

Williams’ power, though, shone through in the second set as the world number 14 won in just under 74 minutes.

“The power is not something I ever work too much on,” said Williams. “It just kind of natural. Actually, I don’t use my power shots as much as I could – it’s kind of a high risk shot.”

Elsewhere, Hong Kong number one Zhang Ling came through her opening doubles match with playing partner Marina Erakovic of New Zealand as the duo beat Ng Kwan-yau and Zheng Saisai 7-5, 7-5 to progress to round two.