Wimbledon: Venus Williams survives Qiang Wang to reach the third round

Former world number one Venus Williams continues to defy the odds. The five-time Wimbledon champion continues her quest for a sixth title at SW19. The American reached her first Grand Slam singles final in seven-and-a-half years at the Australian Open. However, she was unable to add to her Grand Slam tally as she lost to her sister Serena once again.

Nevertheless, Williams is the only former Wimbledon champion left in the draw after two-time champion Petra Kvitova lost to Williams' compatriot Madison Brengle in three sets. The 10th seed is participating in her 20th Wimbledon. The 37-year-old needed three sets to dispatch China's Qiang Wang, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the third round of Wimbledon once again.

The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion will play Naomi Osaka in a mouthwatering third-round encounter which promises to be hard-hitting.

Wang stuns Williams to take the first set

Temperatures were sweltering on No.1 Court, nevertheless, Williams and Wang were no strangers to each other. The duo met in the first round of the French Open last month, which was a tough straight sets victory for Williams. Moreover, today at SW19, Williams opened proceedings with a comfortable hold, and Wang followed suit with a hold to love.

The former world number one was in a little spot of bother in her next service game as the world number 55 hit the ball flat and low with Williams trailing 0-30. However, the five-time champion extended her lead to 2-1.

It seemed as though that the seven-time Grand Slam champion had a stranglehold on this match. The 10th seed raced out to a 0-40 lead and created three break points. Moreover, the 25-year-old from China saved the break points with some good aggression. However, Williams committed some tame errors to level the match at 2-2.

Moreover, after an easy hold, the five-time champion gained the break in the following game, despite Wang leading 40-15. The five-time winner failed to consolidate the break as Wang broke straight back with a string of errors spewing from the American's racquet.

Wang played two good sets but Williams proved to be too good at the end (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)
Wang played two good sets but Williams proved to be too good at the end (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

The Chinese player played the break points well as she continued to serve well but she needed Williams to commit errors as well. Williams failed to regain the break advantage as she committed a tame unforced error as Wang restored parity to level it at 4-4.

Surprisingly, the pendulum had swung in the former world number 50's favor. She reeled off three successive games to take a 5-4 lead and serve for the opening set. China's number three continued to remain fearless. Wang took a shocking first set lead over the five-time champion by producing a forehand winner down the line taking the first set 6-4.

Williams survives to take the match into a deciding set

The five-time champion started the second start with authority by producing some strong forehand winners down the line, and her serve improved immensely. Once again, Wang's serve was under scrutiny but she was unable to convert two more break points that she created and Wang leveled proceedings at 1-1.

Both players remained untroubled in their next few service games, and the second set flowing on serve nicely, and the match was leveled at 3-3 in the second set. However, there was a crucial point in the second set of the match.

The former world number one's dream of winning another Wimbledon title was almost over as she trailed 15-40 on her serve. Furthermore, in vintage Williams fashion, she saved both break points, and the second one was saved by producing her one-two combination. Nonetheless, the American held serve to take a crucial 4-3 lead.

The five-time champion was almost heading for the exit door (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)
The five-time champion was almost heading for the exit door (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

The Chinese player continued to hold her end of the bargain the match as she restored parity once more at 4-4 with another easy hold. The 10th seed continued to improve in this second set as she produced an ace down the T, followed by some forehand winners and she clinched the game with a drive volley winner.

The pressure was too much for Wang to handle as China's number three was staring at three set points. She trailed 0-4, however, two good serves down the trick to stave off two but the former world number one kept her dream of winning a sixth title alive by producing a scintillating passing shot winner down the line.

Williams cruises in the final set to book her place in the third round

Williams continued to play well on No.1 Court as she held serve to love. She almost broke Wang's serve to take a crucial lead with a break advantage but the Chinese player got on the scoreboard to level the opening set at 1-1.

Nonetheless, the turning point in the final set came when Williams broke Wang's serve by producing an outrageous disguised half volley drop shot to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the final set.

The 25-year-old looked tired both mentally and physically in a sweltering second round clash on No.1 Court. Although, the former world number one almost squandered her break advantage. She saved the break point by producing a scintillating backhand winner down the line. Williams held serve to lead 4-1, and the finishing line was in sight.

The 10th seed will have to raise her level against Osaka on Friday (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)
The 10th seed will have to raise her level against Osaka on Friday (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

Wang's good work was becoming undone as the five-time champion's level went up another gear. The seven-time Slam champion gained the double break advantage by virtue of a double fault to lead 5-2.

The former world number one's charged for a sixth Wimbledon title, and first Slam since winning in 2008 continued by producing a crushing backhand down the line, forcing Wang to commit an error in a one hour and 48-minute encounter.

By the numbers

The five-time Wimbledon champion sent down six aces in contrast to Wang's four aces. Moreover, the former world number one committed seven double faults, and she only converted four out of 15 break point chances that she created. It almost proved costly but it did not for the veteran's sake. The former world number one got 62 percent of her first serves in, and she won 83 percent of the points on it.

However, Wang produced 20 winners and committed 21 unforced errors, whilst Williams produced twice of a number of winners with 43 but committed 33 unforced errors.