S. Williams takes Istanbul first-rounder

May 22, 2007 at 12:21 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, May 22 (UPI) -- Fourth-seeded Venus Williams lost just three games Tuesday in cruising through her first-round match at the $200,000 Istanbul Cup tennis tournament.

Williams rolled by Tatiana Poutchek 6-1, 6-2, and earned a second-round pairing against Aravane Rezai in the clay-court tournament.

Top-seeded Maria Sharapova, returning to tournament play for the first time since March, shook off Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1). Sharapova received a first-round bye and so will next play in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

While third-seeded Patty Schnyder had little trouble in a 6-1, 6-1 romp past Yung-Jan Chan, the Nos. 6 an 8 seeded players were ousted. Catalina Castano upset sixth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, and Meghann Shaughnessy stopped No. 8 Sania Mirza, 6-4, 6-3.

Other first-round winners Tuesday were Ekaterina Afinogenova, Anastasija Sevastova, Ekaterina Dzehalevich and Vania King.

The winner of the Istanbul Cup, one of the last tournaments ahead of the French Open, will collect $28,180.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Pierre-Paul could have nerve damage from Fourth accident
Dallas Mavericks near deal with PG Lin
MMA's Melendez tests positive for banned substance
VIDEO: Florida State's Johnson punches woman in face
Toronto Blue Jays' Donaldson breaks All-Star voting record