Home>News Center>Sports

V. Williams wins first title in 14 months
Updated: 2004-04-19 09:44

Venus Williams turned her game around completely after the first set and beat Conchita Martinez 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 Sunday to win the Family Circle Cup for her first title in 14 months.

Venus Williams, of the United States, holds the trophy after beating Spain's Conchita Martinez 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, to win the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament Sunday, April 18., 2004 in Charleston, S.C. [AP]
"I just wanted to start this year from here," said Williams, a four-time major champion.

By winning on clay, Williams showed that she could be a factor at the French Open, which starts May 24.

She looked unsteady in the opening set and lost her serve twice. But she played more aggressively over the last two sets, handling Martinez's changing speeds well and volleying with confidence.

"I had to slow it down and be really aggressive," Williams said. "She was giving me so many short balls."

Williams last won a tournament in February 2003, when she beat Kim Clijsters in the final at Antwerp, Belgium. Shortly after, Williams strained an abdominal muscle, an injury that hampered her until she cut her season short in July.

Martinez, a two-time champion here, was in her first final in four years. The Spaniard dropped to 0-5 in three-set matches this season.

Williams' younger sister Serena withdrew from the Family Circle Cup, citing a sore left knee, about 1 1/2 hours before a scheduled match against Martinez.

On Sunday, Martinez won few points after the first set with the drop shots and short balls that were effective early. She occasionally was drawn into - and, for the most part, lost - hard-hitting rallies with Williams.

"The first set was a little bit shaky for me," Williams said. "I had to adjust to her game."

  Today's Top News     Top Sports News

Renminbi interest rate to remain unchanged



Rocket blasts small satellites into space



Experts optimistic about grain output



Chongqing gas leak controlled; nine dead



Spain pulls from Iraq, 10 US troops killed



Eager Guangzhou eyes 2010 Asian Games


  Kings use 3-point brigade to beat Mavs
  Soccer legend Maradona in intensive care
  Soccer legend Maradona in intensive care
  Shaq dunk sends Lakers over Rockets 72-71
  Chelsea draw, United lose to boost Arsenal
  Roddick cruises into fourth straight Houston final
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools