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Venus made to work for opening round win on 20th Wimbledon anniversary

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French Open finallist Simona Halep eased past Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-1 while American Venus Williams defeated Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the opening round at Wimbledon on Monday.

Erakovic of New Zealand committed 31 unforced errors in one hour 14 minutes in a match that saw her serve broken five times by the Romanian second seed. The Wimbledon 2014 quarter-finalist is set to play against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated British Laura Robson 6-4, 6-1.

In another match, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams also advanced to the second round after getting the better of Mertens in one hour and 40 minutes.

In her 20th participation at the All England Club, Venus, 37, fired 23 winners and committed 21 unforced errors to Merten's 32 and 30. Venus, seeded No.10, is set to play against Chinese Qiang Wang who defeated Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-4.

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