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Venus makes winning return in Miami

Published: 3:00PM Thursday March 22, 2012 Source: Reuters

  • Venus Williams (Source: Reuters)
    Venus Williams - Source: Reuters

Venus Williams made a triumphant to the WTA Tour today, winning her first round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

The former world number one had not played a singles match since last year's US Open in New York when she revealed she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

But the 31-year-old American was back on the court on today, beating Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes.

"Just to be in this tournament is a huge win for me," Williams told reporters after being granted a wildcard entry into the tournament.

"Just being here is a win, I told myself going into this, this is a win. Just to train and get back at this level."

Belgium's Kim Clijsters, another former number one on the comeback trail, overcame a slow start before beating Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova 4-6 6-1 6-0.

Clijsters had not played since she lost to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open semi-finals when she injured her ankle.

"It's always tough to get that first match rhythm under your belt," Clijsters said.

"One thing I can count on is I have the experience, though. It doesn't take me that long to get used to it again. But it has become tougher."

New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic will meet number 23-seed Yanina Wickmayer in the second round tomorrow.

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