Venus Williams makes winning return in Miami

Miami: Venus Williams made a triumphant to the WTA Tour on Wednesday, winning her first round match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

The former world number one had not played a singles match since last year`s U.S. Open in New York when she revealed she had been diagnosed with Sjogren`s syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

But the 31-year-old American was back on the court on Wednesday, beating Japan`s Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes.

"Just to be in this tournament is a huge win for me," Williams told reporters after being granted a wildcard entry into the tournament.

"Just being here is a win, I told myself going into this, this is a win. Just to train and get back at this level."

Belgium`s Kim Clijsters, another former number one on the comeback trail, overcame a slow start before beating Australia`s Jarmila Gajdosova 4-6, 6-1, 6-0.

Clijsters had not played since she lost to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open semi-finals when she injured her ankle.

"It`s always tough to get that first match rhythm under your belt," Clijsters said.

"One thing I can count on is I have the experience, though. It doesn`t take me that long to get used to it again. But it has become tougher."

Bureau Report