Venus Williams, 17, seeking to usurp Martina Hingis’ No. 1 ranking, earned the first crack at her this year with an opening-round victory early today in the Sydney International tennis tournament.
Williams advanced past Ruxandra Dragomir when the Romanian defaulted because of a hamstring injury after Williams won the first set 6-4. Hingis, the defending champion, had a bye in the first round.
Williams’ 16-year-old sister, Serena, qualified for the main draw of the tournament with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Laura Golarsa of Italy.