Venus Williams has overcome a spirited first set challenge from Japan's Kurumi Nara to progress to the third round at SW19.
It was the Japanese underdog who started the match strong, taking a 3-0 lead including a love service break. Venus Williams looked very lethargic early in the match, moving very slowly around the court and hitting a number of uncharacteristic unforced errors. Venus Williams finally got on the board in the fourth game, four big first serves resulted in a love service hold for the 30th seed. A backhand winner down the line would see Venus Williams break straight back as she finally started to find some rhythm. The American would win 5 straight games and would serve for the set at 5-4. Venus seemed to tighten up, Nara would break to level the set at 5-5. Nara would hold, meaning Venus would need to serve to stay in the set. Venus held her nerve in a tight game, a couple of big first serves getting her out of trouble. Nara raced away to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak, seemingly on her way to stunning upset. However the Japanese number 1 hit multiple unforced errors in a row to invite Venus back into the set, Venus pounced to take the opening set 7-6.
After the first set, Kurumi Nara received a medical timeout and came on to court with her left thigh heavily strapped. Nara would break in the opening game but that was the only resistance she showed in the second set. Venus Williams would go on to win 6 straight games to take the second set 6-1. The former champion cantering into the third round after an early scare