Tokyo:Top-seeded Venus Williams coasted to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jill Craybas on Tuesday in the first round of the Japan Open.
Williams needed just 58 minutes on the hard court surface at Ariake Colosseum to record a win over fellow American Craybas.
Williams, No. 8 in the WTA rankings, was a late addition to the US$175,000 tournament. She arrived in Japan from Seoul, South Korea, where she won her third title of the season on Sunday with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win over Maria Kirilenko in the Korea Open.
"I like the surface here," said Williams, who is making her first appearance in the Japan Open. "I love to play fast and faster, it excites me so this is a great surface for my game."
In men's first round play, American Justin Gimelstob posted a 6-4, 7-5 win over Lukasz Kubot of Poland to advance to the second round, while Vincent Spadea downed fellow American Amer Delic 6-3, 6-1 and Marin Cilic of Croatia coasted to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jun Woong-sun of South Korea.
Williams was planning on a vacation in Thailand before she got the call to play in Japan.
"I had a free week," said Williams. "I was going to go to Thailand, but when the tournament asked me to come I decided to because I love Tokyo."
After winning the first set Tuesday, Williams broke Craybas twice in the second set before finishing with a backhand down the line.
The arrival of Williams was a relief for tournament organizers.
World No. 1 Roger Federer pulled out of the US$832,000 men's event because he needs to rest after the U.S. Open and Davis Cup.
In other women's matches, No. 4 Ai Sugiyama of Japan made an early exit after she was defeated by China's Yuan Meng by 6-3, 6-3 score.