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Williams sisters win Doha openers

Nov. 5, 2008 at 4:42 PM

DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, both won their first round matches Wednesday at the season-ending Sony Ericsson women's tennis championships.

Venus, the seventh seed and reigning women's singles champion at Wimbledon, downed No. 5 Elena Dementieva 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, in the Maroon group.

She won the match despite facing a 0-2 deficit in the second set.

Serena, the third seed, playing in the Red Group, was a 6-4, 6-1 winner against the second-seeded Dinara Safina of Russia.

In the White Group, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia lost to No. 8 Vera Zvonareva of Russia 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6.

Ivanovic tried to play through a slow start, and was checked by a doctor after a bout of having dizzy spells

"I have had a virus, but I don't know why my blood pressure was taken," Ivanovic said after her loss. "It frightened me and made me feel worse."

Two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals.