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Venus sees off Lucic-Baroni

Top seed Venus Williams eased into the second round of the Brasil Tennis Cup with a straight-sets win over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia.

The American, now back in the world's top 20, was particularly dominant on serve as she claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory.

It could have been easier for Williams, though, as Lucic-Baroni fought back from 5-0 down in the second to 5-3, saving seven match points in the process.

"At 5-0 I was a little too confident and maybe playing a little too relaxed, but she also started playing really well and really aggressive on those match points," Williams told wtatennis.com.

"She brought out her best tennis. It showed a lot of character from her. It's easy to give up when you're down 5-0, but she did really well to make it closer in the end. I knew it was just a matter of time before I got it, though."

Not all the seeds in action had it so easy as number three Kirsten Flipkens of Holland lost 2-6 6-4 6-4 to Olga Puchkova.

There were no such problems for fifth seed Magdalena Rybarikova or number seven Kristina Mladenovic, though, as they beat Kimiko Date-Krumm and Anne Keothavong respectively in straight sets.

There were also first-round wins for Garbine Muguruza, Tatjana Malek, Timea Babos and local wildcard Beatriz Haddad Maia.

There was an upset in the day's only second-round match, as Jana Cepelova beat eighth seed Annika Beck 7-6 (8/6) 6-4.