After struggling in her opening match in Charleston, former world No. 1 Venus Williams will be looking to make an emphatic statement in the second round against South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers. Williams leads the head-to-head series 1-0, with a victory at the 2012 Cincinnati Premier event.
World No. 28 Venus Williams struggled in her opening round match-up against Zahlavova Strycova, needing three sets to earn the victory. Following a quick opening set, which the American won 6-3, Williams would collapse in the second set to lose 0-6, before regrouping to finish the match 6-3, 0-6, 7-5. She still managed a stronger performance than her sister and defending champion Serena Williams, who was upset in her opening round match in straight sets.
Williams began her season by reaching the finals in Auckland. She would take it one step further in Dubai, where she would win her third title at the event, extending her undefeated streak to 15-0. She is coming off a fourth round exit in Miami, where she lost to eventual semi-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
World No. 77 Chanelle Scheepers also needed three sets to arrive in the second round in Charleston, as she rallied past Alison Riske to win the match after losing to opening set 6-4. She holds a 7-7 record this season, with her best performances being second round showings in Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis and Miami. She will be looking for her season-best performance this week in Charleston, and an upset victory over Williams would certainly emphasize that ambition.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 1-0. Her victory took place in Cincinnati on hard court, and considering Williams’ troubles during her opening match, she may need to be prepared for another three set battle in Charleston.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets