At age 40, defending champion Venus Williams (No. 533-USA) defeated a top-20 player for the first time in four years to advance past the first round of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour’s Cincinnati Open ($2,788,468 total prize money).
Williams defeated No. 16 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 2-0 (6-4, 7-5) in the first round of singles (Round of 64) on the first day of competition in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, on Thursday (Sept. 14).
It is the first time in four years that Williams has defeated a top-20 player, as she defeated then-No. 5 Kiki Bertens (NED) in the round of 16 at this event in 2019.
It was also Williams’ first win in the United States in three years.
Williams, who took the women’s tennis world by storm with her sister Serena, has continued to take to the court after her one-year-old sister retired last year.
Kudermetova, 26, is Williams’ niece.
Williams is not favored. The oldest active WTA player has lost in the first round of all five tournaments she has played this year.
But she’s smiling and determined.
“I love playing tennis,” Williams said after the match, “I’ve been struggling with injuries the last couple years, but I love competing. I feel like I’m getting stronger and stronger,” she beamed.
Williams’ next opponent will be the winner of the Zheng Chinwen (24th – China)-Alexandra Sasnovich (74th – Belarus) match. A win here would put her in the third round for the first time this year.
Meanwhile, this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinalist Elina Svitolina (26th-Ukraine) withdrew from her first round match against Caroline Wozniacki (632nd-Denmark) today due to foot pain that has been bothering her since Wimbledon.
“I’m disappointed, but I decided to follow my doctor’s advice, 먹튀검증토토사이트 ” Svitolina said on social media, adding, “I will do my best to recover in time for the US Open.”