Venus battles past Vekic

2016-06-27 16:46
Venus Williams (AFP)

London - Venus Williams battled into the Wimbledon second round as the five-time champion beat Croatian teenager Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 on Monday.

Williams is the oldest woman in the main draw of this year's tournament and first won Wimbledon in 2000 when Vekic was just four.

The 36-year-old's vast experience eventually proved decisive as she saw off the 19-year-old in a hard-fought clash lasting one hour and 52 minutes on Court One.

World number eight Williams will play Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari for a place in the third round.

Venus hasn't won a Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2008 and it is seven years since her last major final, a loss to sister Serena in the Wimbledon title match.

On her 19th appearance at Wimbledon, where she has made the final eight times, Williams reached a record-equalling 71 appearances in the main draw of Grand Slams in the Open era.

She marked the occasion by strolling onto Court modelling an eye-catching haircut featuring dyed red weaving.

Williams looked in trouble when Vekic, ranked 112th, broke for a 6-5 lead in the first set.

But Williams made a defiant recovery, staving off two set points to force a tie-break which she won in emphatic fashion.

Vekic, watched by boyfriend and former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, matched Venus for long periods but fell short on the crucial points as Williams broke late in the second set to seal her 77th Wimbledon match victory.

Read more on:    wimbledon 2016  |  venus williams  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Novak Djokovic has 12 Grand Slam titles to his name, while Rafael Nadal boasts 15. Roger Federer is currently out in front with 18. When all is said and done, who wins more?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.