Venus Williams beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4 7-5 in the U.S. Open second round on Wednesday to set up a possible third-round match against her younger sister Serena.
Venus, seeded 16th, powered through the first set but appeared to lose energy toward the end of the second in broiling conditions inside the newly built Louis Armstrong Stadium.
She said the crowd’s encouragement had helped her.
Venus Williams could face younger sister, Serena, in the third round
“I felt the energy, definitely,” Venus said. “That love-40 game at four all was not looking good and you guys really got me through that.”
Getting through Giorgi came with its challenges as both players struggled with their serve. Venus converted on five of 10 break point opportunities, but also saw her own serve broken on three of 12 break points she faced.
The telling game came at 4-4 in the second set when Williams fell to 0-40, and saved a total of five break points to go up 5-4. Williams stayed on serve and scored the victory when the Italian dumped a forehand approach shot into the net when serving the final game.
“That love-40 game at 4-all, it was not looking good,” Williams said. “I was saying to myself, ‘Venus, this is not looking good.”
But in the end, Venus Williams’ 20th career US Open continues on to the third round. The hope is her sister, Serena, will be standing across the net in that upcoming match. If not, Venus will have to settle for an encounter with Witthoeft for the prize of a fourth-round berth.
Since the women’s draw was released last week, the conversation has been all about the potential of an all-Williams third-round encounter, and the older of the Williams sisters did her part under the broiling sun Wednesday, with temperatures soaring to 96 degrees. She sent Giorgi packing 6-4, 7-5 in nine minutes shy of the two-hour mark.
Serena and Venus Williams last played each other at the 2017 Australian Open final
Now the world awaits sister Serena’s second-round result to see if fans will be rewarded. The 17th-seeded Serena is scheduled to play under the lights against Carina Witthoeft of Germany Wednesday night.
If Serena lives up to the task ahead it will be the 30th career match between the 38-year-old Venus and 36-year-old Serena. Serena leads the family battle 17-12, and is 10-5 at the Grand Slams.
The first time the siblings played was in the 1998 Australian Open second round with Venus winning. The last time they played was in this year’s Indian Wells third round in March with Venus also winning.
On the court after her victory, Venus remembered back to her last outing against Serena at a Grand Slam. They competed in the 2017 Australian Open final — it was Venus’ first Grand Slam final since she lost to Serena in the 2009 Wimbledon championship match.
Venus Williams won U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001.