Williams eases through in Taiwan


Venus Williams cruised into the second round of the Taiwan Open on Wednesday courtesy of a 6-3 6-2 win over Lee Pei-chi. 

Williams, the number one seed at the tournament, needed just an hour to get past her Chinese Taipei opponent in Kaohsiung.

The 35-year-old hit five aces and won three break points to set up a second-round tie against Urszula Radwanska. 

Waiting for Williams or Radwanska in the quarter-finals is Anastasija Sevastova, the Latvian putting a disappointing second set behind her to beat Donna Vekic 7-5 2-6 7-5.

Magda Linette needed just two sets to join Williams in the next round with a 7-5 7-5 win against Yafan Wang. 

Linette won seven break points and saved six, meaning she will face second seed Misaki Doi in the final 16.

Kurumi Nara will play the winner of that second-round match, the seventh seed winning six break points as she beat Zhang Yuxuan 6-2 4-6 6-3.

World number 64 Yulia Putintseva needed over two hours to get past Miyu Kato for a spot in the last eight.  

Putintseva, the third seed, was surprisingly troubled by her Japanese opponent, who trails her in the world rankings by 120 places.

However, the Russian-born Kazakh outlasted Kato to win 6-4 5-7 6-0. 

Meanwhile, Elizaveta Kulichkova is also into the quarters after she survived a second-set scare against Zarina Diyas to advance 7-5 0-6 6-4.