It was a beautiful but hard match between world No. 56 Zheng Jie and Venus Williams. The match probably wasn’t something that the two-time US Open champion Williams anticipated after her stunning 6-1 6-2 win over seed No.12 Kirsten Flipkens in the first round. Zheng and Williams played three sets of horror that lasted for marathon three hours and two minutes and ended with the result 6-3 2-6 7-6(5). They fought for every point till the last minute of the match.
The Chinese won the first set 6-3 in 45 minutes and that wasn’t easy. She barely managed to take away break points from Williams. The second set wasn’t much different from the first and ended with almost the same result 6-2 during long 49 minutes, but this time the former No.1 Williams had advantage. The third set was a marathon of full 90 minutes and it ended with the tiebreak 7-6(7-5). It was a very hard and long set. Zheng managed to take two break points 4-1 but Venus broke her lead and caught her. During that third set the weather started to change. A storm was coming close, so many of the matches had to be postponed. Many players had to stand and wait for the rain to pass over the stadiums but at the same time Zheng and Williams evened the match 5-5. Louis Armstrong stadium was packed with visitors who cheered for the Williams sister and didn’t want the match to end.
Both Zheng and Williams looked very tired. It almost came to the point that they had to postpone their match because they were the last players still on the court. Venus complained a couple of times that the field was wet and tried to stop the match but after she evened the result she continued and started to hold the ball longer than allowed on almost every serve. Zheng complained only once but it didn’t pass through to the umpire. They were tired and started to make errors which in the end lead to the tiebreak and victory of Zheng Jie.
This will be Zheng’s forth time to play in third round of the US Open, where she will meet seed No.18 Carla Suarez Navarro. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)