Williams battles to US Open win against world number 135

Two-time champion Venus Williams was pushed all the way by world number 135 Viktoria Kuzmova before reaching the second round of the US Open.

The 37-year-old American took her second match point on teenager Kuzmova’s serve to win 6-3 3-6 6-2.

Williams has seven Grand Slam singles titles, while Kuzmova was making her main-draw debut at tour level.

Meantime, two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-1 7-5 to reach round two.

The Dane will face Russian Ekaterina Makarova next.

“I didn’t do a lot wrong, she just just stepped it up,” said Williams, who is aiming for her first major since 2008 and plays France’s Oceane Dodin on Wednesday.

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