Venus breaks down after first-round victory

Following her first-round victory at Wimbledon on Monday, Venus Williams broke down in tears as reporters questioned her over her involvement in a fatal car crash in Florida.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion faces a potential wrongful death lawsuit from the family of a 78-year-old man who died after the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by Willams' car. Police have alleged that Williams was responsible for the crash.

The American is trying to put the incident behind her for the time being as she focuses on Wimbledon. 

She opened her campaign with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens on Monday, but had to answer questions about the crash in the press room afterwards.

"There are no words to describe how devastating [it is]. I'm completely speechless," she said, before breaking down in tears.

Williams had to leave the room to compose her herself before returning to answer questions about her match.

Earlier, the five-time Wimbledon champion said: "Tennis is still the love of my life. It gives me joy.

"Life, you can't prepare for everything. I prepared for a lot of matches, tried to get ready for whatever my opponent will throw at you, but you can't prepare for everything.

"I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. That's all I can say about it. That's what I've learned."

Williams needed five set points before taking the first set against Mertens, who then saved two match points in the second set before a rain delay brought a halt to proceedings.

The Belgian then saved two more match points when play resumed, but a decisive winner from Williams' racquet finally handed her the victory.

She moves on to face Wang Qiang of China in the second round.

Other winners on Monday included Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep, who defeated Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-1, and fourth seed Elina Svitolina, who was a 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) winner over Ashleigh Barty.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also got her campaign under way with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Johanna Larsson.

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