Venus Williams earned an impressive straight sets victory over fellow hard-hitter Oceane Dodin in the second round of the US Open as she fended off the tough challenge from the Frenchwoman to progress to the third round, looking in great form. Williams hit an incredible 32 winners and just a mere 14 unforced errors in the 86 minute encounter.
Williams steals the first set
Coming into the match firing on all cylinders, Williams was quick to get down to business as she looked solid behind her serve, throwing in an ace on game point to hold to love, getting off to the perfect start. Dodin faced some early nerves in her first appearance on the Arthur Ashe Stadium as she committed a couple of unforced errors in her first service game to gift Williams two break point opportunities.
Nonetheless, the Frenchwoman managed to come back from the brink to get herself onto the scoreboard with the confidence-boosting service hold. Williams proceeded to win her eighth consecutive point on serve before Dodin hit her first ace of the day to close out her service game.
Failure to find her first serves in the sixth game proved to be costly for Dodin as Williams pounced on those second serve returns and a couple of unforced errors gifted the first break of the day to the veteran, who easily consolidated the break to love and placed herself just one game away from winning the first set. Serving to stay in the set, Dodin saved a match point with the help of a forehand unforced error by her opponent, staying alive in the set.
Unexpectedly, Williams played her first loose game of the match when it mattered the most as she was broken while serving for the set, and Dodin was just too powerful on her serve after being able to level the scores at 5-5. However, Williams was quick to regain her composure and rattled off eight of the last nine points of the set, claiming the first set 7-5 after 44 minutes of play.
Dodin fails to capitalize on her chances and Williams seals the victory
Carrying over the momentum into the second set, Williams had a comfortable service hold in the opening game as she looked very consistent off her serves. Dodin’s woes continued to plague her as she was broken in her first service game, wasting a game point before throwing in a double fault to gift Williams the huge lead of a set and a break. The American remained in front on the scoreboard as she easily held her serve to love with some powerful winners, looking to close out the match in a hurry.
Dodin had to save yet another break point in the fourth game before holding her serve narrowly as she prevented Williams from extending her lead, sealing the game with a powerful ace. After an exchange of service holds, the seven-time Grand Slam champion saved a break point to hold for a 5-2 lead, being just one game away from the win.
However, she was made to work hard for it as Dodin continued to provide a tough fight, breaking straight back to return level on serve. However, she failed to consolidate the break as Williams was just too good on the return, breaking serve to love and eventually clinched the win in straight sets after 1 hour and 26 minutes of play.