Venus Williams falls at second hurdle in Auckland

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Wilson Blade 9

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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