Languid Williams rolls back the years at Wimbledon

Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:01pm EDT
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By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - Where mortals wilt in the spotlight, champions bask. And so it was on Monday when Venus Williams, as she has done for most of the past 18 summers, took a large, languid stride into the second round of Wimbledon.

The scoreline of her 7-6(3) 6-4 victory over Croatian Donna Vekic told one story, and many points were tight.

But the ones that really mattered could hardly have been more one-sided.

That ability to instantly switch to the sublime explains how Williams has won as many singles titles here -- five -- as Bjorn Borg, and can rightly be considered grasscourt royalty.

It is why the Court One crowd crackled with excitement when she emerged from the players' tunnel. And it is why, despite being the oldest woman in the singles draw at 36, she looks in good shape to go deep in her favorite grand slam.

"I still feel 26," the American smiled to reporters. "You know, I don't think anyone feels older. You have this infinity inside of you that feels like you could go forever.

"That's how I feel on the court. As long as I'm halfway decent, can get my racket on the ball, I think I can make something happen. So far so good."


Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 27/6/16 USA's Venus Williams in action against Croatia's Donna Vekic REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge