It has been almost four years since she advanced to the third round of the US Open. The wins have come few and far between but Venus Williams is far from being in tennis.
The former most dominant women's tennis player advanced to the third round of the 2014 Open on Wednesday when she won an easy victory over Timea Bacsinzky, 6-1, 6-4. When she was at the apex of her career, she amassed Gland Slam singles left and right, collecting seven titles in total. Now, she is on a quest to add an unprecedented eight but is tempering expectations given the field of competition and the history of her spiral downwards.
"I'm happy," Williams said to ESPN. "I won a match again. Finally I did something I couldn't do the last couple years. That's good stuff."
The two-time US Open champion held serve throughout the match and broke her opponent's service three times. The late-afternoon schedule also benefited Williams as she had to play to a reduced temperature of 75 degrees while the matches before her had to endure temperatures that ranged in the low 90s. The said matches were given mandatory breaks after the second set.
Williams was also lucky to draw Bacsinzky, a player who missed two years of actual tournament due to retirement and just returned to action last spring. The French player had to temporarily forego playing tennis due to a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder that results to extreme fatigue. She was hoping to forge a third set and rally from there but Williams was just too much to handle.
The 34-year-old tennis star relayed that her tendency is to be aggressive once her opponent pushes her to her limits and if the opposite is happening, she tends to be passive and loses her focus. Williams faced red-hot up and coming players in the past few years and is optimistic that she will do well in this tournament.
She is also slated to appear in the doubles match with sister Serena Williams on Thursday, the prospects of which his coach David Witt does not like very much given that it will require her to expend more energy and take away focus from the women's singles tourney. Venus, however, has made it clear that she wants to play in the doubles match and nothing will deter her form capturing the next Grand Slam win, be it through the singles or doubles matches.
Williams will next face No. 13 Sara Errani in the third round pairings.