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Venus Wins 1st Tournament Since Injury

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AP
Venus Williams capped her first tournament back from an injured left wrist in winning fashion Saturday night, beating top-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday night in the Cellular South Cup.

This event is merely a Tier III tournament and far below her last victory at Wimbledon in 2005, her fifth Grand Slam. But her 34th career title came in her first tournament since losing in the second round at Luxembourg last October.

"I'm so excited," Williams said.

On the men's side, the top two seeds advanced to the final in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships for the first time since 1987 when Stefan Edberg beat No. 1 seed Jimmy Connors.

Andy Roddick got a little revenge Saturday against Andy Murray for last weekend's semifinal loss in San Jose, beating the young Scot 6-3, 7-6 (4). Tommy Haas downed American Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4 as the German tries to defend his title.

The 26-year-old Williams had hoped to return to competitive tennis at the Australian Open last month, won by her sister, Serena. But she had to pull out of that event and last week's tournament in Belgium because of her wrist and had played little in the past eight months.

She came to Memphis where the winner's check is a mere $28,000 to start working the rust out of her game, knowing that matches that count mean much more than practice. She came in ranked 54th and coming off a year in which she finished outside the Top 15 for the first time in nine years.

Williams had not played Peer before, but she watched her sister beat the 19-year-old Israeli in three sets in the Australian Open quarterfinals last month. She easily overpowered her with aces that reached as high as 125 mph and strong forehands and backhands.