Venus Williams returned to the tennis courts in 2023, and she returned in a way that no one imagined as she managed to win a singles match after more than 18 months.
Last year, the experienced American played only 4 matches and after winning at least one singles match every year since 1994, she couldn't complete this task for the first time in her career. However, Venus Williams returned to the tennis courts in 2023, determined to win again.
In the first round of the 2023 ASB Classic which takes place in Auckland, New Zealand, the 42-year-old American took on fellow compatriot, Katie Volynets, who is half her age.
Both players started the match carefully as fans didn't see any break points until the ninth game of the first set. After using her first chance, Volynets broke the serve of former world no. 1 and was serving for a set.
However, Williams used all of her experience to break back to love and eventually force a tie-break in the first set. When Volynets was up 2-1 in the tie-break, the match was suspended because of rain and both players departed the court for some time.
Once they returned, Venus used her experience once again, as she encountered a lot of rain delays in her career, and won the first set 7-4 in the tie-break.
In the second set it was an unreal performance by the seven-time singles Grand Slam champion. Venus broke her opponent's serve three times and soon she was serving for the match at 5-0.
She had a 30-0 lead and could finish the match with a bagel, but her opponent showed last marks of resistance and got one break back. Eventually, Williams won 7-6(4), 6-2 after an hour and 47 minutes to set up a second-round clash with Lin Zhu from China.