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Russian trio ease through at Family Circle

  • Story Highlights
  • Top seed Elena Dementieva eases into third round of the Family Circle Cup
  • Fellow-Russians Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova also through in Charleston
  • Venus Williams also through but is taken to three sets by India's Sania Mirza
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(CNN) -- Top seed Elena Dementieva and fellow-Russians Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova all came safely through their opening matches at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.

Top seed Elena Dementieva lost only two games in reaching the third round in Charleston.

Top seed Elena Dementieva lost only two games in reaching the third round in Charleston.

Dementiva beat American Julie Ditty 6-0 6-2, relishing her highest-ever world ranking of three which she reached last week.

"I don't feel any pressure being the number one seed here," Dementieva told the official tournament Web Site.

"Tonight was a good start to the tournament for me. I had never played Julie before so I really didn't want her to get into the match. It's easy to lose your concentration, but I stayed focused."

Third seed Vera Zvonareva also cruised through with a 6-3 6-2 win over Rossana de los Rios of Paraguay. Zvonareva, beaten in last year's final by Serena Williams, was happy with her first foray on to clay of the year.

"I didn't expect myself to play my best, and it was a bit of a struggle at times because of the wind, but it was pretty good.

"I've had a lot of success at the Family Circle Cup and I'm excited to have started my clay court season at this tournament," she added.

Fourth seed Petrova had more of a battle as she dropped the middle set to Austrian Patricia Mayr 6-1 2-6 6-2 while sixth and seventh seeds Marion Bartoli and Dominika Cibulkova also went through.

With Serena Williams sitting out the tournament as she recovers from a thigh injury the onus has fallen on her sister Venus, and she reached the third round with a hard-fought victory over India's Sania Mirza.

Second seed Venus, who won the tournament five years ago, took almost two-and-a-half hours to go through 6-1 3-6 6-2 on the green clay of Stadium Court.

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