At the age of 39, Venus Williams will be hoping for one last strong run at the US Open this fortnight. The two time champion will play Elina Svitolina in what is a tough looking quarter of the draw. The winner of this is likely to play Dayana Yastremska while the in-form pairing of Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin are the next seeds up.
Saisai Zheng had come into New York on the back of a San Jose title not long back but looked helpless against Venus, who ripped winner after winner in a dominant victory. She hit 25 of them in a 6-1 6-0, breaking in every return game but one. It took Venus’ round one record at the US Open to 22-0 but this one has to be one of the best performances of the lot for her. “I was happy with today, so I’m not going to ask for more,” Venus said. “Whether the win is easy or whether it’s tough, a win is a win. Getting to the next round is about getting the win on your side and building yourself up during the tournament and patting yourself on the back for every good achievement.”
Svitolina will go from playing one of the top young Americans to the oldest American singles pro in the space of two matches. She advanced in straights 6-1 7-5 against Whitney Osuigwe but had to be alert to see off the threat of the 17 year old, who was impressive in the second set and could well have taken it. It was a great opening set from the Ukranian though, who broke four times to take it. She had to break to stay in the second set at 4-5 but did so as part of a run of three games to close out the match.
It will be the second time this matchup happens at a slam in 2019 with Svitolina coming out on top at Roland Garros. It was not a surprising result there with Venus struggling on clay, even at her peak for the most part. The American should have the advantage here and will be close to unbeatable if she can once again put up winners numbers like she did in round one.
Prediction – Venus Williams in three sets