Tennis: Venus Williams is still dominant at 43

Legendary tennis player Venus Williams may be 43 years old, but she’s still able to compete with the best in the world.

On Monday, the American signed a victory over a WTA top 50 opponent for the first time since the Beijing tournament in 2019. In the first round in Birmingham, Venus overcame Italian Camila Giorgi in three sets of 7-6(5), 4-6 and 7-6(6).

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To overcome the 48th racket in the world, the eldest of the Williams sisters needed 3 h 17 min.

“I think I played well today and she was great,” she said on the court after the match of Giorgi. I’m surprised she’s not number 1 in the world. There are so many moments when I thought it was over, that she was going to pull off a coup out of nowhere. She pushed me to be better than I thought I was.”

rare presence

The seven-time Grand Slam champion is only playing a third tournament this year, after those in Auckland in January and ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week. At this event presented on Dutch soil, she was defeated by the young Swiss Céline Naef.

It was a leg injury that sidelined her for six months earlier this year. She feared the pain would return in the first run, prompting her to seek treatment for her right knee.

“I started off really well and my leg started hurting again in the third game,” Williams said. I was like, “Oh no, not that.” It was very difficult to control my emotions, to be honest. I got used to it eventually and tried to ignore it. I couldn’t move the way I wanted to, but I tried to hit every ball I could.”

In the second round, she will face the winner of the duel between second seed Jelena Ostapenko and 18-year-old Czech Linda Noskova.

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