Daniilidou exits early from the Australian Open

Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou, who has made it as far as the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in recent years, bowed out early this season following a first-round loss yesterday against former world No. 1 Venus Williams. The American, now ranked No. 8, surged to a 6-1, 7-5 victory at the Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne. Daniilidou, ranked 40 in the world, failed to tune into the game early on. She lasted just 23 minutes in the first set. She fought bravely in the second set, which dragged on for nearly an hour. Commenting on her victory, Williams said she was dissatisfied by her lack of rhythm. »I had a string of errors, especially in that second set,» said Williams. «I kind of felt like I should have been up 5-0, but instead it was like 3-2 and 4-2. I think when it really mattered, at 5-5, I really picked up my game. I think it was good for me to get to that because then I was able to play better. I’m not necessarily worried because I know how to play.»  Williams, who has not won a grand slam title since the US Open in 2001, began well but 26 unforced errors allowed Daniilidou back into the match. After being broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second, Williams broke the Greek in the next game and served out to love to set up a clash with Peng Shaui of China in the next round. Daniilidou has teamed for doubles play with Australian Nicole Pratt. They meet with Leanne Baker of New Zealand and Italian Francesca Lubiani in the first round. (Kathimerini, Reuters)