Venus falls at first hurdle in Cincinnati

Venus Williams failed to sustain the momentum from her run to last week's Montreal final and ran out of gas in Cincinnati, as she fell 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4 to 16th seed Lucie Safarova in the first round of the Western and Southern Open yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Williams, who beat her top-ranked younger sister Serena to reach the Rogers Cup final, where she lost to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, said: "It was definitely a quick turnaround, maybe would have been a little better to play a little later in the day."

Fifth seed Maria Sharapova needed three sets to dispose of American Madison Keys in her second-round contest, finally prevailing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in just under two hours.

In other results, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki made short work of China's Zhang Shuai to win 6-2, 6-3 and second seed Simona Halep beat Kirsten Flipkins 6-4, 6-2.
- Reuters.