Venus Williams led a parade of four Americans advancing to the second round of the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday.
Williams, in her first action since the French Open, advanced after beating Arantxa Rus 6-1, 6-3. The former World No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champ will face World No. 9 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the next round.
Also advancing were Americans Jessica Pegula, Shelby Rogers and No. 13 seed Danielle Rose Collins. Pegula stunned No. 15 seed Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 6-1, Rogers topped Fiona Ferro of France 6-2, 7-5, and Collins held off Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6-3, 6-3.
No. 13 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia survived a first-round scare by rallying to beat Italy’s Sara Errani 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in Melbourne.
China’s Zheng Saisai, seeded 11th, was not as fortunate, losing to unseeded Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 12 seed Caroline Garcia of France and No. 15 seed Polona Hercog of Slovenia also moved on to the second round.