Experience wins the day as Venus downs Kasatkina

Fri Jul 1, 2016 3:59pm EDT
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By Clare Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Experience wrestled aside youth at Wimbledon on Friday when Venus Williams, at 36 the oldest woman in the draw, overcame a match-point rain break and tenacious Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina to reach the fourth round.

Kasatkina, 19, demonstrated clearly how she has leapt 128 places up the rankings in the last year, saving two match points, one after a lengthy rain stoppage, before going down 7-5 4-6 10-8.

The women were forced off court with Williams on match point as the heavens opened for a third time in the tie, the scoreboard showing 7-5 4-6 7-6 and 40-30 in the eighth seed's favour. Kasatkina won the next three points using a hefty serve.

"This was like something out of a movie," a beaming Williams said when she finally departed Court One after the two hour 41 minute match.

"I can't say I've ever had a rain delay at match point. Probably not ideal. She handled it well. She played smart.

"There was honestly such a roar in the crowd. I thought, did someone faint? Are there rats in the stadium?"

Five-times champion Williams appeared to suffer worse from earlier breaks in the stop-start match. Resuming at 5-1 ahead in the first set after the second pause, she lost eight points then four games in a row, heaving the ball wide and long and allowing Kasatkina to dictate play.

But the experience of some 20 years on the tour helped the American shift the momentum back to her own power game and she took the set 7-5.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 1/7/16 USA's Venus Williams in action against Russia's Daria Kasatkina REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge