Former five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams picked up her first victory at SW19 this season in a grueling match against María-Teresa Torró-Flor. The win sets up a second round clash with Kurumi Nara, whom she has never previously encountered on the WTA tour.
It was a tough battle on Monday afternoon, but former world No. 1 Venus Williams escaped following a fantastic display in the third set to defeat her Spanish opponent 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. It was the third set in particular that seemed to turn the tide in the match, as Torro-Flor, who had momentum flowing her way, appeared disheartened after Williams broke serve in the midway point of the set. From then on, the American reeled off the next few consecutive games to secure the victory.
“It was great. I mean, I think my opponent played amazingly,” Williams said. “She just was playing so well, going for everything. So it was definitely a challenge today against someone who is just playing such inspired tennis.
“Obviously, it feels good to win. I mean, it feels good to play well against an opponent who is playing well and advance to the next round. That always helps for the first match on a new surface.”
Japan’s Kurumi Nara dispatched Anna-Lena Friedsam in straight sets on Monday to set up the second round clash with the former champion. Nara hit no aces but did maintain a positive ratio with 19 winners to her 15 unforced errors.
This is the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour. Williams will likely be the favourite in this encounter, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Nara could provide a Wednesday shocker to eliminate the five-time champion.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets