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Venus advances in Stuttgart

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:03

Williams, who was ousted by younger sister Serena in the US Open quarter-finals, never faced a break point during the 68-minute match with Groenfeld.

The two-time reigning Wimbledon champion struggled slightly with her first serve, winning 24-of-36 points, but made up for it with an impressive 13-of-19 conversion rate on her second serve.

Venus, who could face her sister again in the final at Stuttgart, will try to move step closer to her 38th career title when she battles Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round.

The only other seeded player in action on Tuesday was number eight Agnieska Radwanska, who knocked off Czech qualifier Sandra Zahlavova 6-3 6-2 to set up a second-round match with Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

The 19-year-old Pole is trying to join Serena Williams, the top seed here, and Dinara Safina as the only four-time winners on the WTA Tour this year.

Unseeded Russian Nadia Petrova, the 2006 champion of this event, also advanced on Tuesday with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Czech qualifier Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Petrova will next play either fifth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova or Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.

Other unseeded players moving through the first round were Marion Bartoli of France and Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova.

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