Australian Open

Vintage Venus canters at Open

2015-01-22 08:14
Venus Williams (AFP)

Melbourne - Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was in vintage form on Thursday, cantering past Lauren Davis in straight sets at the Australian Open and saying her vast experience was paying dividends.

The 34-year-old American, seeded 18, is now on a 7-0 run after winning the lead-up Auckland Classic as she works to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon in 2011.

She has lost just one set during that time, to world number eight Caroline Wozniacki in the New Zealand final.

"I'm hitting the ball a lot like how I want to," she said after beating fellow American Davis 6-2, 6-3 to make the third round.

"Some points you play well and some not as well. I'm just continually trying to be as consistent as I can on the court and still play consistent while taking risk as well."

Williams, who has long battled illness and injury, will next meet either Czech Tereza Smitkova or Italy's Camila Giorgi.

She has been playing Grand Slam tennis since 1997 and said the experience was a crucial part of her game now she was getting older.

"Honestly, I think I understand the game a lot more," she said.

"Even when I'm not playing as well, I think I'm able tactically to be more strategic than even, let's say, Venus of 2000.

"So I think there is a big difference.

"I watched some old matches, and I'm like, Wow, if I could have been more strategic I could have won this match a lot easier.

"So I think strategically it's more helpful, even if I am not on top of my game. I understand things a lot more. So that's one of the beauties of continuing to play as you get a lot of the years under your belt."

Against Davis, Williams lost serve once in each set but from start to finish she was on her game, attacking and moving forward the whole time, blasting 18 winners in total and finishing eight points at the net.

While she is targeting the second week of a Slam for the first time since Wimbledon in 2011, she said that ultimately all she cared about was winning titles.

"For me it's about titles, so no matter what the title is for me, to the finals is the same thing as the third round if I didn't win," she said.

"For me, it's about hopefully trying to take titles home."

Read more on:    australian open  |  venus williams  |  tennis


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