Venus Williams keeps world No. 1 hopes alive after three-hour WTA Finals epic v Jelena Ostapenko
Venus Williams kept her hopes of returning to world No. 1 alive after an epic battle with Jelena Ostapenko at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
The legendary American ace, 37, beat a woman 17 years younger in three hours and 13 minutes, to recover from her opening round mauling courtesy of Karolina Pliskova, in what was a terrific contest.
Both players struggled to hold their serve throughout amid some strong returning, and sometimes questionable serving, in what proved to be a topsy-turvy match.
‘There were so many times when I thought I had it but she kept coming back again and again. But I kept going,’ Williams said after the match.
‘I wasn’t playing that bad on my serve – I was putting a lot in court and losing on my first serve.
‘She was returning well – credit to her. Hopefully I can maybe win again, we’ll see.’
Ostapenko lost the first set having served for it but dug in well to save a match point in the second.
Having clawed her way back into it by winning a tiebreak, the French Open champion had plenty of opportunities in the third before ultimately being downed.
Venus kept her hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive with the 7-5 6-7 7-5 success but needs to win the title to have any chance of returning to world No. 1.
Garbine Muguruza and Pliskova will do battle later in Singapore, with the winner assuming control of the White Group.