Venus dispatches qualifier Marino

Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino pushed Venus Williams to a first set tiebreak this afternoon but ultimately couldn't contend with the former champion's power. The 3rd seed prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 and improved her hard-court record to 56-9.

The 19-year-old Marino, who trains in Montreal, had never before faced a player ranked in the top 50 let alone set foot on the hollowed ground of Arthur Ashe Stadium, but she showed little trace of intimidation. At 6 feet tall Marino wielded a powerful serve, racking up twice as many aces as her opponent and making the 30-year-old American work for each shot.

"(It was) not as easy to get a rhythm today because (Merino) served so big and (would) just kind of go for the first shot," Venus said. Both players also had to contend with heat and a wind that disrupted her toss several times.

In a first set tiebreak Marino jumped ahead 3-1 and seemed poised to grab the lead, but Venus quickly swiped the next six points to shut her down.

Though not afraid to vary her strokes and come into net, Marino's backhand was often erratic, and she won just 30 percent of receiving points against Venus' 120-mph serves. At 3-1 in the second set, Venus grabbed the first service break of the match and followed it through to seal the win.

After missing the entire summer hard-court season with a left knee injury, Venus says her health has been good, but she's not looking too far ahead yet. "I'm just really trying to bring my best to (each) match," she said. "I'm really not trying to measure myself against anything I've done before or what anyone else is doing in this tournament."

And with sister Serena herself sidelined with a foot injury, Venus doesn't have the doubles draw to tax her this year. She'll be able to focus solely on her third round contest against Luxembourg's Mandy Minella.

Match Facts
- The 179th ranked Marino was in her Grand Slam main draw debut here. She defeated Ksenia Pervak of Russia in her first round match.

- Marino is competing in a tour-level main draw for just the second time. Last year, in her first attempt, she failed to qualify.

- Venus is the sole Williams sister at this year’s US Open after Serena pulled out with an off court foot injury.

- Venus has been sidelined since Wimbledon with a left knee injury.


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