Wrinkle free Venus irons out Czech Safarova

By Greg Stutchbury

"No," the tall American, who is fast approaching 30, told reporters when asked if she was starting to feel her age against younger opponents after she beat the 22-year-old Lucie Safarova 6-2 6-2 in the Australian Open first round.

"No wrinkles yet either, so thankfully that's working out. To be honest, when you're on the court, age doesn't matter. So I never think really about my opponent's age at all.

"So far though, I'm fast and strong, and maintaining that is great."

"I was playing a really talented player. Everyone knows how well Lucie can hit the ball," Venus said.

"She definitely gets a lot of pace and she's left handed. We've had some tough matches in this the past.

"I just wanted to stay focused and execute my game (and it was a) great way to start."

The victory ensured Venus joined Australian Open champion Serena in the second round after the world number one had earlier beaten Poland's Urszula Radwanska 6-2 6-1 in a similar fashion.

Venus, however, said there was no sibling rivalry going on.

"We always motivate each other but I don't think there have been times where I wanted to get a score similar to her against certain players," Venus said.

"Actually (it) hasn't happened in a while."

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)