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Venus Williams Tops Bethanie Mattek-Sands; Awaits Kerber In Second Round

Venus Williams of the United States shakes hands at the net with Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States after their women's singles first-round match on Day Two of the 2012 US Open. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Venus Williams of the United States shakes hands at the net with Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States after their women’s singles first-round match on Day Two of the 2012 US Open. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Venus Williams overcame an early deficit for an easy win in her return to the U.S. Open.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the tournament before her second-round match last year because of an autoimmune disease. Williams was back on Tuesday, and she beat fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1.

Williams, unseeded with a ranking of No. 46, was broken in her first game. But after going down 0-2 in the first set, she won 12 of the last 14 games.

She’ll next face sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber.

Mattek-Sands is ranked 212th after she suffered a series of injuries this year, and she got into the draw with a wild card.

At age 32, Williams has been learning to deal with the effects of Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes exhaustion and joint pain.

Does 32-year-old Venus have some magic left in her? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)