ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Venus Williams defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-4 Saturday, giving the United States an opening victory in its Fed Cup title defense.
Williams broke five straight times to overcome a shaky serve. The players exchanged breaks in the first five games of the second set.
CoCo Vandeweghe of the U.S. faces Richel Hogenkamp later Saturday in second singles of this best-of-five series in the top team event of women’s tennis.
Serena Williams is to return Sunday after more than a year away from the game. She and Lauren Davis are to face Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs in doubles.
Serena Williams gave birth Sept. 1 and hasn’t played competitively since winning the 2017 Australian Open. She played that tournament while pregnant.
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