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Rebecca Marino wins the primary spherical of the Venus Williams Metropolis Open

WASHINGTON (AP) — Venus Williams misplaced to Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino on Monday to return to singles motion after greater than a yr away, leaving the seven-time Grand Slam champion feeling rusty.

Within the first spherical of the Metropolis Open in Washington, Williams misplaced 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in her first singles match since final August.

“I did not suppose I performed effectively lots of instances,” Williams mentioned. “Simply making an attempt to shake off some rust. That’s what is anticipated. All I can do is play one other event and play effectively.”

Earlier than her hard-court tune-up for the US Open, Williams final performed singles in Chicago on August 23, 2021, when she misplaced to Su-Wei Hsieh. Williams performed blended doubles with Jamie Murray at Wimbledon.

Williams practiced with sister and former doubles companion Serena within the lead-up to the event, which isn’t a routine for her.

“I feel it was an actual thrill for the gang to see us hitting collectively,” Venus mentioned. “I feel greater than something, this event was very thrilling.”

Marino, 31, will advance to Wednesday’s spherical of 16.

In different matches within the girls’s group, high seed Jessica Pegula and former high seed Simona Halep superior.

Pegula defeated fellow American Haley Baptiste 6-2, 6-2. Halep, adjusting to a special floor after a grass-court season, defeated Spain’s Cristina Buxa 6-3, 7-5.

“I had run at Wimbledon, so it is all the time robust to begin,” Halep mentioned. “However I am actually pleased that I gained the match and I can play yet another match right here.”

On the boys’s aspect, former No. 1 Andy Murray misplaced to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-1. Murray began cramping in the direction of the top of the primary set and struggled to get well.

“It was undoubtedly disappointing,” Murray mentioned. “I assumed there was some good tennis within the first set. After that, we each struggled a bit bodily. The extent of tennis was not good.”

Countryman Kyle Edmund defeated qualifier Yosuke Watanuki 6-4, 7-6(8) to win his first ATP Tour-level singles match since October 2020.

Edmund, as soon as the top-ranked Brit and ranked 14th on the planet, was out whereas recovering from three knee surgical procedures.

Throughout his rehabilitation, Edmund discovered himself again at court docket in comparable moments.

“There have been so many days the place I used to be simply on the market, could not play, did not decide up a racket. … It was not humorous in any respect,” he mentioned. “If you envision these kinds of matches or these occasions, you are out.”

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Extra AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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