American Venus Williams recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the opening set to defeated Russian Dinara Safina 7-5 6-3.
Safina, the debutant at the Sony Ericsson Championships, let the two-time semifinalist Williams win five straight games to take the first set. Williams had little trouble in closing out the win in the second.
Second seed Safina will play Serena Williams in her next round-robin match, while seventh-seeded Venus Williams will play Olympic champion Elena Dementieva. (photo: Getty Images)