Venus Williams falls at second hurdle in Auckland


After winning her first match since Wimbledon 2021 in Auckland this week, Venus Williams was stopped in the second round as China’s Zhu Lin came back from 5-3 down in the third set to defeat the American 3-6 6-2 7-5.

Venus Williams

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams started the rain-interrupted match with a break down, but won five of the last six games to take the one-set lead. World No.84 Zhu, who saved a match point against Madison Brengle in the previous round, swiftly took the match to the third set. As Williams was approaching her first tour-level quarterfinal since 2019, serving for victory at 5-4 in the decider, Zhu quickly broke her serve and eventually won the last four games of the match.

In the closing stage of the match, Williams seemed to have injured/strained her leg as she was limping a bit. Her next tournament on schedule is the Australian Open, where she plays as a wildcard.

Zhu’s quarterfinal opponent at the ASB Classic will be another high-profile American: either top seed Coco Gauff or 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.


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