On Monday night, Venus Williams defeated 16th seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 7-5. It was Williams’s first top-20 victory since the 2019 edition of the same tournament. Williams, age 43, has now won 3 matches on the year, including a thriller over Camila Giorgi on the grass.
Against Kudermetova, Williams came down from 1-4 in the first set and 1-5 in the second set to win the match in straights. The match was delayed several times due to rain, but Williams, 17 years older than her opponent, handled the conditions better. Kudermetova was undone by 9 double faults and seemed to struggle with the depth that Venus was getting on her groundstrokes. The match was Venus’s most convincing win in years.
While injuries have prevented her from playing a full schedule this season (or in recent years), Venus Williams has looked good in several tournaments recently. She no longer has the explosive movement that highlighted her play for 20 years or so, but she still hits as clean a ball as anyone on tour. From the center of the court, Venus can still pummel the ball into the corners and finish at the net. Her serve has also improved since her first few tournaments of the season.
What’s next for Venus Williams?
In the second round, Venus Willams will play the winner of rising star Zheng Qinwen or qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich, with a potential third-round encounter with world number 1 Iga Swiatek, who recently lost in the semifinals of Montreal. Venus will enter her next match as the underdog but should receive plenty of support from the American crowd.
Following this tournament, Williams will likely continue to compete on American soil. Barring injury, Williams will almost assuredly be granted a wildcard to the US Open, where she won the singles title in 2000 and 2001.