Venus digs deep for victory
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:46
Having seen younger sister and defending champion Serena Williams cruise into the second round with a 6-4 6-1 win over fellow American Alexa Glatch earlier in the day, the fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium were expecting an equally dominant performance from Venus against a Russian ranked 44 places below her.
It was far from convincing from the American two-time champion, though, who scraped through 6-7 (5/7) 7-5 6-3 in a match lasting two hours and 44 minutes.
Williams had required lengthy treatment on her left knee after just three games and was plagued throughout by seven foot faults during a far from confident outing.
The third seed’s normally impressive service was broken six times while she served an uncharacteristic 10 double faults but she pulled out a big service game at 5-4 down in the second set to save the match.
And when Williams finally got past the winning post, converting the third match point the smile was more one of relief than celebration.
“She played so well, she moved so well and did so many things well,” Williams said of Dushevina on court afterwards.
“I just had a lot of help from my (player’s family) box and the fans here. I felt so much energy from everyone when I was serving to stay in the match in the second set. It feels good to play at home.”
A decade after winning the US Open as a teenager, Serena Williams is looking to recreate the approach that brought the first of 11 grand slam titles.
“Ten years ago I definitely wasn’t a favourite,” Williams said. “I felt like I had nothing to lose and I like that attitude.”