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Sloane Stephens avoids first-round exit at Wimbledon

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WIMBLEDON, England — Ninth-seeded Sloane Stephens avoided another first-round exit at Wimbledon.

The 2017 U.S. Open champion eliminated quarterfinalist Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 6-4 for her first victory at the All England Club since 2016.

The American was one of four top-10 seeded women to lose in the first round last year, and also went out in her opening match in 2017. Bacsinszky reached the quarterfinals in 2015 but has now lost all three of her career meetings with Stephens.

No. 15 Wang Qiang and Barbora Strycova were also among the early winners on Day 2 of the Grand Slam tournament.

Wang beat Vera Lapko 6-2, 6-2, and Strycova defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-2.

U.S. Open purse to surpass $57 million

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NEW YORK — The U.S. Open total purse this year is more than $57 million, the richest in tennis history.

The men’s and women’s singles champion will each receive $3.85 million, and the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will get $740,000. Those are both the highest payouts in U.S. Open history.

The U.S. Tennis Association said Thursday it worked with the ATP and WTA Tours to determine specific round-by-round prize money levels, and that the payouts for each round are all Grand Slam tournament records.

The payouts start at $58,000 for the first round of singles.

The USTA adds that it will make a payment of $500,000 to each tour to support the ATP and WTA Tour player programs, including pension.

The final major of the year will be played Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Venus Williams to play San Jose for second straight year

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Venus Williams has committed to play in San Jose later this month, her second straight appearance in the event.

She will play her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in the night session July 30 after reaching the 2018 quarterfinals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion is in the field for the 15th time, though the tournament moved from Stanford to San Jose last year.

The 39-year-old Williams will be a wild-card entry in the tournament.