French Open: Clay doesn't slow Venus Williams in first round

May 24, 2010

Venus Williams won her opening match at the French Open by beating Patty Schnyder 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

Williams' victory was no surprise coming against an opponent who fell to 0-11 versus the seven-time Grand Slam champion. But Williams' movement boded well for her matches to come. She attacked aggressively and scrambled after balls, often extending points until Schnyder would blow an easy shot.

Her 27-4 record this year is the best on the women's tour. Last week, Williams climbed for the first time since 2003 to second in the rankings, trailing only her younger sister, Serena.

Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova also advanced, while 2009 quarterfinalist Victoria Azarenka was eliminated. Winners on the men's side included Robin Soderling, hoping to mount another run at Roland Garros after upsetting four-time champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round last year.

Nadal, 31-1 lifetime at the French, is again the tournament favorite and wouldn't meet the No. 5-seeded Soderling until the final.

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