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Venus Williams tumbles out early in return to Indian Wells

Venus Williams tumbled out of the BNP Paribas Open in her first match at the event since 2001, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara on Friday night in front of a sparse, wind-blown crowd that returned after a rain-delay midway through the first set.

Loses to qualifier in 1st appearance since 2001

Venus Williams returns a volley from Kurumi Nara during their match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Friday in Indian Wells, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Venus Williams tumbled out of the BNP Paribas Open in her first match at the event since 2001, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara on Friday night in front of a sparse, wind-blown crowd that returned after a rain-delay midway through the first set.

Williams hadn't played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden since she and sister Serena and father Richard were booed and heckled after Venus withdraw from her semifinal against Serena because of an injury. On Friday, Venus received standing ovations before and after her error-filled, second-round match.

Bothered by the gusty wind, she was most prominent of the upset victims.

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the No. 3 seed, rallied from a 4-1 deficit and to thwart Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the No. 8 seed from the Czech Republic, needed a third-set tiebreaker in a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5) victory over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Bouchard advances to 2nd round

On Thursday, Eugenie Bouchard defeated Risa Ozaki of Japan 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Bouchard gets American Sloane Stephens in second-round action on Saturday.

Raonic returns

Milos Raonic will face Inigo Cervantes in the second round on Saturday. Seeded 12th in the tournament, Raonic received a bye out of the opening round. 

Pospisil has 1st-round success

Vasek Pospisil scored a 7-6, 6-7,6-3 victory over Jared Donaldson of the U.S. on Friday to extend his stay in the singles event. 

Next up for Pospisil is Gilles Simon of France on Sunday. 

With files from CBC Sports

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