US Open: Venus Williams eases past Laura Siegemund to reach the fourth round in New York

Sixth seed Venus Williams conserved a lot of energy in her third round match at the US Open with 26th seed Laura Siegemund, and the former world number one defeated the German in straight sets to reach her third consecutive fourth-round Grand Slam appearance in 2016.

However, the match wasn't a high-quality match in the Arthur Ashe Stadium under the lights as the contest was full of errors, and the American was dominating the match.

Williams cruises in the first set

The sixth seed settled into the match by holding serve easily and in the following game, Williams was looking to break Siegemund's serve and it was clear that the 26th seed was nervous by serving a double fault, followed by a forehand winner from the American, along with a cross-court backhand winner to bring up a first break point chance, and a forehand error handed Williams the immediate break.

It looked increasingly likely that Williams was going to consolidate the break with a 40-15 lead, however, the German found a backhand passing winner down the line and punished Williams' second serve with a backhand winner, landing on the side of the line.

However, both players were committing unforced errors with Siegemund finding the forehand in the corner, drawing the error from Williams' racquet to get the break point chance, but a good first serve from the former world number one drew a backhand from Siegemund into the net to save the break point.

Ultimately, the 26th seed would create a third break with a drop shot at the net, and a thunderous Williams return, nonetheless, Siegemund was able to win the game with a pick up at the net to wipe out the seven-time Grand Slam champion's break.

Williams competing in the Arthur Ashe Stadium (Photo by Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)
Williams competing in the Arthur Ashe Stadium (Photo by Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)

Siegemund struggled to hold serve to restore parity in this opening set, and Williams regained the break to lead 3-1 with a forehand smash-winner, consolidating the break with an unreturnable serve down the middle to lead 4-1.

Once again, the two-time US Open champion was looking to break Siegemund's serve again for the double break, and a tame unforced error placed into the net gave Williams the 5-1 lead.

The sixth seed had some problems serving out for the opening set with uncharacteristic unforced errors giving the German a glimmer of hope to salvage something from this set with a 15-40 advantage but an unreturnable first serve out wide and a forehand error from Siegemund's racquet leveled the game to deuce.

Furthermore, the German created two more opportunities to retrieve one of the break backs, but an erratic Siegemund committed more unforced errors to let Williams off the hook.

The American was gifted the first set point as Siegemund was trying to play a drop shot and construct a poor lob over Williams but the sixth seed was at the net and Siegemund's backhand sailed out of the court.

Siegemund saved the set point in style with a forehand down the line, Williams responded by finding another set point with a good first serve down the middle and converted the second set point to seal the opening set 6-1, in 34 minutes with a backhand error.

The American secures the second set easily

The 28-year-old German started the opening set, attempting to hold serve for the first time in the match, and Siegemund had a cushion at 40-15 to achieve that but a series of forehand unforced errors into the net, coupled with a backhand crosscourt from Williams' racquet forced the German to commit another unforced error and two more errors handed Williams her fourth consecutive break on the 26th seed's serve.

Williams consolidated the break with ease as Siegemund committed unforced errors to help the American gain the 2-0 lead.

The signs were ominous in the third game as Williams created more break point chances on the German's serve to get the insurance break but 15-40 down and under all sorts of pressure, Siegemund found a remarkable backhand winner that landed on the line and forehand into the net by Williams got the game to deuce.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion created a third break point but Siegemund saved it with a disguised drop shot with Williams firmly on the baseline failing to gather it, and the German was finally able to hold serve with a forehand volley winner at the net.

Siegemund reacts in her third round match with Williams (Photo by Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)
Siegemund reacts in her third round match with Williams (Photo by Alex Goodlett / Getty Images)

Williams started the fourth game brightly with a volley winner but a double fault and a forehand down the line winner on Williams' second serve from Siegemund gave the German a glimmer of hope to break back, however, Williams' body serve drew the error, a forehand volley winner, and the American sealed the game by getting Siegemund out wide causing an error.

After being under pressure, Williams eventually got the double break that she was searching for in the fifth game to have a commanding 4-1 lead.

However, a couple of wild unforced errors handed Siegemund one of the breaks back but still led 4-2.

The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd was backing the American but would have liked to have seen more tennis, and began to pull for the German. Siegemund raced to a 40-0 lead on her own serve, but two consecutive double faults and two unforced errors handed Williams the chance to restore the double break advantage.

The break point was saved instinctively by Williams on the other side of the court with a forehand winner, however, it was inevitable that Williams was going to break back as Siegemund gifted the American the chance to serve for the match by playing a poor drop shot, Williams got up to the ball and a backhand unforced error sealed the German's fate.

There were no dramas for Williams serving out the match with Siegemund placing a forehand unforced error into the net to gift the American a smooth passage into the fourth round in one hour and 18 minutes.

Match stats

Williams won 73 per cent of the points on her first serve, however, only mustering 11 winners and 17 unforced errors. Siegemund won 44 points on her first serve and a low 22 per cent of the points on her second serve.

The German failed to capitalize on plenty of her break point chances which were crucial, and holding serve once in the match was never going to get Siegemund through that match. 26 unforced errors came from the German's racquet and they were certainly not going to help Siegemund upset Williams.

Next for Williams

The two-time US Open champion will be looking to reach her second consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal but first, she will be playing 10th seed Karolina Pliskova who is on an eight-match winning streak after winning the Western and Southern Open.

Pliskova will be competing in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time, and Williams has a slender 1-0 advantage with their previous meeting coming in the final of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai last year.

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