Venus Williams struggles in 3 sets before win in Charleston; Serena plays evening match

Venus Williams needed three sets to edge Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (zah-lah-VOH-vuh STRIT-so-vuh) 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 to advance at the Family Circle Cup.

The 28th-ranked Williams avoided her earliest exit from the tournament she won in 2004. It took about 2 hours, 15 minutes for Williams to defeat the 56th-ranked Czech player Tuesday on the green clay at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C.

Top-ranked Serena Williams plays Tuesday night against 78th-ranked Jana Cepelova of Slovakia. Serena is aiming for her second straight title and third this year after winning a record seventh Sony Open last weekend.