Venus outclasses German Groenefeld to win in Stuttgart
BERLIN (Reuters) - Venus Williams made short work of wayward German Anna-Lena Groenefeld on Tuesday, helping herself to a 6-1 6-2 victory to reach the second round of the Stuttgart Grand Prix.
Williams, seeded sixth at the indoor tournament, had a little trouble early on against the big-hitting Groenefeld but once she had clicked into gear there was no contest.
In other first round matches, eighth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland enjoyed a 6-3 6-2 win over the Czech Republic's Sandra Zahlavova, while Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli saw off Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-1.
Groenefeld returned to the tour in May after taking most of the previous nine months out and has been clawing her way back up the rankings ever since.
She surprised a lot of people by reaching the last 16 of this year's U.S. Open but her ranking is still only 84, which puts her 76 places below Williams.
That difference showed in Stuttgart, as the American set about taking her opponent's game apart.
Groenefeld saved two break points in game four to bring the score back to deuce only to then make two forehand mistakes to gift Williams a 3-1 lead.
Williams broke again for 5-1 before she wobbled slightly, serving two double faults on two set-points before finally sealing it at the fourth attempt.
The world number eight broke early in the second set too and completed an easy win in 68 minutes.