U.S. Open: Venus Williams advances to second round

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Danielle Elliot
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Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK – Venus Williams continued her streak of perfection in the first round of the U.S. Open, this time defeating Monica Puig, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 on Monday afternoon.

Williams is the oldest woman in the draw this year. She has won her first-round match in all of her 17 appearances here. 

Puig held off four match points in a second-set tiebreak, forcing a deciding third set with the sun blazing overhead. It was Williams' serve that made the difference, as the 35-year-old recorded 18 aces in the win.

"By the time I got to the third set I was able to clean up my game a bit," Williams said after the match. She added that the new roof structure over Arthur Ashe stadium added more shade than usual. "I felt some clarity and just wanted to take the opportunity to play better."

Williams will face fellow American Irina Falconi next. Falconi advanced with a straight-set win over American Samantha Crawford.

American CoCo Vandeweghe joined Williams and Falconi in the next round with a quick 6-4, 6-3 dismissal of Sloane Stephens. Stephens came in as the No. 23 seed, and many had expected her to face Serena Williams in the third round. 

"I thought I kept my intensity up really well. I thought I was very focused through the whole match," Vandegweghe said. 

Her win set up another all-American showdown between, as she'll face Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Wednesday. Mattek-Sands defeated Kateryna Kozlova, 6-4, 6-3. 

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Danielle Elliot is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Find her on Twitter and Facebook. 

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