Tennis: Svitolina wears down Venus to reach US Open third round

Svitolina reacts after defeating Venus Williams of the US.
Svitolina reacts after defeating Venus Williams of the US.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

N EW YORK (REUTERS) - Fifth seed Elina Svitolina knocked Venus Williams out of the US Open to reach the third round on Wednesday (Aug 28), winning 6-4, 6-4 despite a heroic defensive effort from the 39-year-old former champion.

Trailing 5-3 in the second set, seven-times Grand Slam champion Williams saved five-match points to hold serve in a dramatic 22-point game.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian, who has reached the fourth round of the US Open for the past two years, struggled to convert break points throughout the match, winning just four out of 17.

Svitolina, who beat Williams in the first round at Roland Garros this year, called the American an "inspiration".

"I had to stay very focused," said the 24-year-old Ukrainian.

"She's a very experienced player so she knows how to handle (these) moments."