Williams sisters survive scares amid showers
Originally published on 01/07/16 00:00
But on Friday, both sisters were pushed to the brink by their respective opponents on another rain-hit day at the All England Club.
“Of course I want to see [Serena] come through, and she wants to see me come through,” Venus said after her 7-5 4-6 10-8 win over Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina. “So it's all good vibes when both of us have gotten a win.”
“When one of us has lost, of course there's a sense of loss amongst ourselves and our team.”
World No.1 and six-time champion Serena Williams trailed by an early break in the deciding set against Christina McHale, whose on-court speed was a worthy match for the 21-time Grand Slam champion's power.
However, six-time Wimbledon champion avoided what would have been her earliest ever defeat at the All England Club to progress to the third round with a 6-7(7) 6-2 6-4 victory.
“She played better than I've ever seen her play before,” said Williams of the 24-year-old. “She was just hitting line shots from the first point to the last.
“There were times where I was down and out. I just kept fighting. That's what I know I can do best. I knew that I could count on that, rely on that.”
While defending champion Serena had the benefit of playing under the Centre Court roof, over on No.1 Court Venus Wiliams found her match disrupted by showers.
A heavy downpour saw her match suspended with the American one point from victory deep into the third set, but Kasatkina came out and saved match point before Williams eventually sealed victory after two hours and 41 minutes.
“I can't say that I've ever had a rain delay at match point,” said Williams. “Probably not ideal. She handled it well; she played smart.”
At 36, Williams, who is playing in her 19th Championships, made her Wimbledon debut in 1997, when her opponent was only a few weeks old. But despite spending almost seven hours on court in her opening three matches, the former world No.1 is still in contention for the title.
“I want to win, but I got to beat some people before then,” she said. "When I walk out there, I'm betting on myself every single time. That's what I have to do. I got to go out there and go for broke again.”
Williams plays No.12 seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round, with that section of the draw wide open following Garbine Muguruza’s second round defeat to Jana Cepelova.