NEW YORK – Venus Williams overcame an early deficit for an easy win in her return to the U.S. Open.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the tournament before her second-round match last year because of an autoimmune disease. Williams was back Tuesday, and she beat fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1.
Williams, unseeded with a ranking of No. 46, was broken in her first game. But after going down 0-2 in the first set, she won 12 of the last 14 games.
She'll next face sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber.
Mattek-Sands is ranked 212th after a series of injuries this year and got in on a wild card.
At age 32, Williams has been learning to deal with the effects of Sjogren's syndrome, which causes exhaustion and joint pain.