Venus Williams crashes out of Wuhan Open

AFP
September 22,2019

The 39-year-old Williams, a 2015 Wuhan champion now 59th in the world rankings, squandered a lead in the first set before eventually losing to Collins, who recorded just the second match win of her career on Chinese soil.

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WUHAN, China: Venus Williams´ first visit to Asia since 2017 was cut short as she crashed out of the Wuhan Open first round on Sunday 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) to fellow American Danielle Collins.

The 39-year-old Williams, a 2015 Wuhan champion now 59th in the world rankings, squandered a lead in the first set before eventually losing to Collins, who recorded just the second match win of her career on Chinese soil.

The 35th-ranked Collins rallied back from 3-5 down in the opening set, winning a whopping nine games in a row to go up 7-5, 5-0.

Williams, a wildcard at Wuhan this year, finally stopped the bleeding, holding the serve to interrupt her opponent´s momentum.

It was the start of a surprising five-game run from Williams, who saved two match points along the way as she drew level at 5-5.

In the decider, Williams got the first mini-break but it was Collins who eventually created a 6-4 gap, converting with an ace on her fourth match point to move into the second round.

It was Collins´ second triumph over Williams, who had also stumbled against the 25-year-old during the Miami Open last year.

"This is my first tournament here in Asia, I was just happy to come out with a win, said Collins, who next takes on defending champion and ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Meanwhile, 2017 Wuhan runner-up Ashleigh Barty is making sure she has enough left in the tank for a busy closing stretch of the season, including her singles debut at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and a highly-anticipated Fed Cup final between Australia and France in Perth.

Barty is top seed at Wuhan and faces a stiff challenge in the fight for the year-end number one ranking from the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu and Naomi Osaka.

The 23-year-old Australian is first-ranked this week and would like to finish the

Barty will open her Wuhan campaign against either Russian Daria Kasatkina or Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.


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