Venus Williams Advances At Japan Open

Tuesday, October 2nd 2007, 7:38 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ Top-seeded Venus Williams coasted to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jill Craybas on Tuesday in the first round of the Japan Open.

Williams needed just 58 minutes on the hardcourt surface at Ariake Colosseum to record a win over her fellow American.

Williams, No. 8 in the WTA rankings, was a late addition to the tournament. She arrived in Japan from Seoul, South Korea, where she won her third title of the season on Sunday with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win over Maria Kirilenko in the Korea Open.

``I like the surface here,'' said Williams, making her first appearance in the Japan Open. ``I love to play fast and faster, it excites me so this is a great surface for my game.''

In men's first round matches, American Justin Gimelstob advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Lukasz Kubot of Poland, while Vincent Spadea downed fellow American Amer Delic 6-3, 6-1 and Marin Cilic of Croatia coasted to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jun Woong-sun of South Korea.

Williams was planning on a vacation in Thailand before she got the call to play in Japan.

``I had a free week,'' said Williams. ``I was going to go to Thailand, but when the tournament asked me to come I decided to because I love Tokyo.''

After winning the first set Tuesday, Williams broke Craybas twice in the second set before finishing with a backhand down the line.

The arrival of Williams was a relief for tournament organizers after world No. 1 Roger Federer pulled out of because he needs to rest after the U.S. Open and Davis Cup.

In other women's matches, No. 4 Ai Sugiyama of Japan made an early exit when she was defeated by Yuan Meng of China 6-3, 6-3.