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.