Venus wins thriller in three sets

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TORONTO: Venus Williams pre­vailed in a three-set­ter but French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko and 13th seed Kristina Mlade­n­ovic crashed out of Rogers Cup with first round de­feats on Mon­day.

Venus out­lasted a lengthy rain de­lay and pesky Ro­ma­nian op­po­nent Irina-Camelia Begu to win her open­ing match 6-1 3-6 6-3.

Less than a month af­ter her run to the Wim­ble­don fi­nal, where she lost to Spain’s Gar­bine Mugu­ruza, 37-year-old Venus again had to turn back time against a young chal­lenger.

Af­ter tak­ing the open­ing set in dom­i­nant fash­ion, the Amer­i­can found her­self in a fight as Irina ral­lied back to win a set be­fore rain sus­pended ac­tion for more than an hour.

The de­ci­sive set was a roller­coaster with Venus mov­ing ahead 3-1 only to lose con­sec­u­tive games be­fore bounc­ing back to seize three straight games and the match.

Ear­lier, Kristina was swept aside 6-2 6-3 by Czech Barbora Strycova while Je­lena fell to Amer­i­can Var­vara Lepchenko as up­sets marked the start of the tour­na­ment.

Barbora’s stun­ning tri­umph was fol­lowed by an­other sur­prise vic­tory when 12th seed Je­lena lost 1-6 7-6(2) 7-6(5) to Amer­i­can Var­vara in two hours and 36 min­utes.

Af­ter breez­ing through the first set, the 20-year-old Je­lena’s nerves be­gan to show and un­forced er­rors helped Je­lena, 31, take the fi­nal two sets in tiebreaks.

Fan favourite Pe­tra Kvi­tova, de­ter­mined to im­prove fol­low­ing a knife in­jury to her hand in­flicted by an in­truder at home, beat Spa­niard Carla Suarez Navarro 61 7-6(5).

The Czech’s six aces and 32 winners were too much for the 28-year-old Carla, who had no aces and just seven winners.

“I’m feel­ing pretty tired right now,” said Pe­tra, who was trail­ing 4-1 in the sec­ond set be­fore win­ning the tiebreak.

“I’m try­ing to come back as soon as pos­si­ble but it is just a mat­ter of time,” added the 14th seed.

Barbora reached the sec­ond round for the fourth straight year, while Kristina re­mains win­less in four at­tempts on the Cana­dian hard­courts af­ter the first match on an over­cast cen­tre court in Toronto lasted just 75 min­utes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.