TORONTO: Venus Williams was forced to draw on all of her vast experience before overcoming Czech youngster Katerina Siniakova to reach the last 16 of the WTA Toronto hardcourt tournament on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old American ninth seed, who began playing on the professional circuit before 21-year-old Siniakova was even born in 1996, eventually prevailed 7-5, 7-5 in 1hr 39min.
It was a satisfying win for Williams, who shrugged off the failure to convert a string of break points to raise her game when it mattered late in the second set.
Williams, who will be chasing her third US Open crown next month after reaching the Wimbledon and Australian Open finals this year, said she had remained calm against Siniakova even when errors prevented her from taking control.
“She played so well, so competitive,” Williams said afterwards. “I had a few errors but I think the key is to keep going for it and hopefully you’ll get some in at some point.
Williams will now face Elina Svitolina in the next round.
Top seed Karolína Pliskova of the Czech Republic meanwhile eased past Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-3.
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