Venus flies flag for Williams family at Open

New York: Venus Williams kept the flag flying for American tennis` most famous family at the US Open on Wednesday when she beat Canada`s Rebecca Marino 7-6, 6-3 in the second round.

Marino gave the third seed a brief scare when she pushed the opening set to a tiebreak but Williams was able to raise her game in the second and wrap up a comfortable victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams, US Open champion in 2000 and 2001, is the highest-ranked American in the women`s draw this year after her sister, world number one Serena, withdrew because of a foot injury.

Serena is following her elder sister`s efforts at Flushing Meadows from afar but Venus would not reveal the feedback she has been receiving.

"That`s between Serena and I," Williams joked to reporters. "But she`s always very positive."

The 30-year-old Williams has never gone out before the last 16 in New York but having not played any tournaments in the lead-up because of knee tendinitis, she looked a little rusty.

But after taking the first set on the tiebreak, she slowly found her game in the second set to run out a comfortable winner.

Williams said she was not allowing herself to look any further ahead than her next opponent, Luxembourg`s Mandy Minella, a qualifier in her first grand slam event, who upset Bulgarian 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-0.

"I`m really just going match by match," Williams said. "I`m not thinking about dusting off any rust or where I might be."

"I thought I made a quick turnaround this summer to try to get ready (for the US Open). I`m glad that I`m just in the singles as that way I have a chance to recover between rounds."

Bureau Report