Venus flies flag for Williams family at Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Venus Williams kept the flag flying for American tennis’ most famous family at the U.S. Open on Wednesday when she beat Canada’s Rebecca Marino 7-6 6-3 in the second round.

Venus Williams hits a return against Rebecca Marino of Canada during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Marino gave the third seed a brief scare when she pushed the opening set to a tiebreak but Williams was able to raise her game in the second and wrap up a comfortable victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams, U.S. Open champion in 2000 and 2001, is the highest-ranked American in the women’s draw this year after her sister, world number one Serena, withdrew because of a foot injury.

Serena is following her elder sister’s efforts at Flushing Meadows from afar but Venus would not reveal the feedback she has been receiving.

“That’s between Serena and I,” Williams joked to reporters. “But she’s always very positive.”

The 30-year-old Williams has never gone out before the last 16 in New York but having not played any tournaments in the lead-up because of knee tendinitis, she looked a little rusty.

But after taking the first set on the tiebreak, she slowly found her game in the second set to run out a comfortable winner.

Williams said she was not allowing herself to look any further ahead than her next opponent, Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella, a qualifier in her first grand slam event, who upset Bulgarian 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-0.

“I’m really just going match by match,” Williams said. “I’m not thinking about dusting off any rust or where I might be.

“I thought I made a quick turnaround this summer to try to get ready (for the U.S. Open). I’m glad that I’m just in the singles as that way I have a chance to recover between rounds.

Editing by Frank Pingue