The last time we saw Venus Williams play, she had to retire during her third round Australian Open match against Andrea Petkovic. Williams had a hip injury at the time, but she would later develop an abdominal injury. When she returned to the court today, in Eastbourne, it was a bit eerie that her first round opponent was once again Petkovic. This time, though, Williams was healthy, and she defeated the German player 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
Also advancing today was 3rd seed Victoria Azarenka, at the expense of Peng Shuai. Sam Stosur, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Agnieszka Radwanska also won their matches, defeating Nadia Petrova, Shahar Peer and Jarmila Gajdosova, respectively. Petra Kivotva, the 5th seed, lost the first set to Anistasija Sevastova, but won the match. (I know Thrill Ride is taking a break from tennis and isn't around to provide us with those topsy-turvy three-setters, but is it really necessary for Kvitova to keep dropping the first set?)
In 's-Hertogenbosch, top seed Kim Clijsters defeated Monica Niculescu 7-5, 7-5 in the opening round, and 6th seed Maria Kirilenko was upset by Kimiko Date-Krumm. 3rd seeds Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva, who just won the championship in Birmingham, lost in the first round to Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.