Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Stosur and Kuznetsova win openers in Rome



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Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Stosur and Kuznetsova win openers in Rome

Tennis: Monday was a good day for all Grand Slam champions as Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova made their way into the second rounds of Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Three former US Open champions were in action on Monday, as Venus Williams (winner in 2000 and 2001), Svetlana Kuznetsova (winner in 2004) and Samantha Stosur (winner in 2011) played their matches.

33-year-old former world no. 1 Venus Williams, who is ranked 33 in the world now, faced Germany's world no. 48 Annika Beck. Williams defeated her 6-3, 6-1 in just one hour and 11 minutes. Venus played final here in 1998 and won the title in 1999.

Another former world no. 1, 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic brushed aside Italy's wildcard Karin Knapp 6-1, 6-1 in just 56 minutes. I 2-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was up against her Russian compatriot and former world top 10 player Maria Kirilenko, who she defeated 7-5, 6-0 to book her place in the next round.

Kuznetsova has twice reached final here in Rome in 2007 and 2009. Former world no. 4 Samantha Stosur faced 15th seed and last year's Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, who she defeated in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in just 1 hour and 18 minutes to get through. Stosur was runner-up in this tournament in 2011.