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.