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Venus Williams wins opening match at Wimbledon

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LONDON — Venus Williams won her first tennis match since being sued by the estate of a Florida man who died after a car crash police say she caused.

The 10th-seeded Williams beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 Monday in the first round at Wimbledon, a tournament the American has won five times.

Last week, Williams was sued by the estate of a Florida man who died 13 days after a car crash. The lawsuit came one day after Palm Beach Gardens police released a report saying Williams caused the June 9 crash.

On No. 1 Court, Williams had to wait through a 33-minute rain delay to win her opening match. She had two match points before the rain came. Play was stopped with Williams leading 5-3 and at 40-40 in the second set.

When play resumed, Mertens held serve to make it 5-4, but Williams served out the match.

Defending champion Andy Murray also won his opening match, beating Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal was due to play next on No. 1 Court, while Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who was injured in a knife attack at her home late last year, was due next on Centre Court.

Second-seeded Simona Halep and No. 17 Madison Keys also won Monday. Halep, who lost in this year’s French Open final, beat Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-4, 6-1. Keys defeated Nao Hibino of Japan 6-4, 6-2.

Keys, who is right-handed, was playing for the first time since having a second surgery on her left wrist.

“It’s obviously not perfect,” Keys said. “I haven’t been able to do the repetitions that ideally I would have wanted to do, but it feels fine. Doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s really all I care about.”

In the men’s draw, Nick Kyrgios retired from his first-round match after losing the first two sets.

The 20th-seeded Australian was trailing Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4 when he called for a trainer to work on his left hip. He then decided to stop the match.

Kyrgios also retired with an injury from his first-round match at Queen’s, a Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

“I kind of knew I was in trouble. I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen’s. Never got it right,” Kyrgios said. “I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time.”

Two-time semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also reached the second round. The 12th-seeded Frenchman beat Cameron Norrie of Britain 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori and 24th-seeded Sam Querrey also advanced.

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Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.

Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.

Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.