Venus shoots down British hopes

For more than an hour Anne Keothavong played beyond her limits and expectations against defending champion Venus Williams before reality dawned and Williams reached the third round 7-5, 6-2 to end British interest in the women’s singles.

The match time alone, 104 minutes, was one indication of how hard Keothavong had fought to keep her cause alive. But after a 69-minute first set, Williams needed just half that time to win the second and shake off the challenge of the 92nd ranked player in the world.

The four-time champion, seventh seed to retain her title, played with growing confidence in the second set, taking the Keothavong serve in the fourth game and again in the eighth. A double fault in that game by Keothavong gave Williams match point and the contest ended with a forehand error by the British girl.

Williams will meet Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who beat India’s Sania Mirza 9-7 in the third set, in the next round.

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