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Venus Williams loses first match since Australian Open final

Venus Williams lost her first match since the Australian Open to Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-1 in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Thursday.

Seeded fourth, Williams showed none of the spark which took her to the Australian Open final last weekend, failing to record a single winner in the opening set compared to 15 for her French opponent.

Mladenovic broke the tired-looking Williams in the first game of the second set and swiftly wrapped up the second-round win. Williams received a bye in the first round.

In the quarterfinals, Mladenovic meets defending St. Petersburg champion Roberta Vinci, who beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-4. Vinci, the sixth-seeded Italian, was...

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