Venus Williams off to powerful start at Volvo Car Open

Getty Images

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Venus Williams used her powerhouse serves and crisp groundstrokes for a 6-4, 6-2 victory over fellow American Alison Riske at the Volvo Car Open on Wednesday.

The third-seeded Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, is seeking her 50th career WTA title – and got off to a strong start at the clay-court event. She had consecutive serves of 121 mph and 119 mph to close out one game in the first set as fans in the stadium court marveled as the ball zoomed past Riske.

Williams, 35, kept up the attack throughout, winning the final four games to advance.

Others moving on were fifth-seeded Sara Errani and seventh-seeded Sloane Stephens.

No. 4-seeded Lucie Safarova and No. 8-seeded Madison Keys were upset in opening matches.