NEW YORK (AP) - Venus Williams overcame an early deficit for an easy win in her return to the U.S. Open.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the tournament before her second-round match last year because of an autoimmune disease. Williams was back Tuesday, and she beat fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1.

Williams, unseeded with a ranking of No. 46, was broken in her first game. But after going down 0-2 in the first set, she won 12 of the last 14 games.

She'll next face sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber.

Mattek-Sands is ranked 212th after a series of injuries this year and got in on a wild card.

At age 32, Williams has been learning to deal with the effects of Sjogren's syndrome, which causes exhaustion and joint pain.

Another American was making a return to the U.S. Open. Sam Querrey won his first-round match over Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in just over 3 hours Tuesday. He missed the tournament last year because of right elbow surgery.

Querrey reached the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows in his previous appearance in 2010 to match his best Grand Slam performance. He had 21 aces and 50 winners Tuesday.

Lu, ranked 64th, made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2010.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.