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Venus Williams beats Simona Halep 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6) in Madrid Open 1st round; Sam Stosur wins
MADRID (AP) ' Venus Williams held off a late surge by Simona Halep to win 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6) in the first round of the Madrid Open on Saturday.
The seven-time major winner hit three aces and broke the Romanian twice en route to taking the first set.
But Halep rallied to take the second set before Williams edged her out in the decisive tiebreaker.
Fifth-seeded Sam Stosur also needed three sets to beat Petra Martic.
Stosur saved six break points to claim the tight contest from the Croatian, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5).