NEW YORK (AP) — Two-time champion Venus Williams is back in the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time since 2010, a year before she announced she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
The 19th-seeded Williams, at 34 the oldest woman left in the draw, did not need to deal with too much trouble while beating 78th-ranked Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 6-4 Wednesday night.
Well, now I'm happy. I won a match again. Finally I did something I couldn't do the last couple years," Williams said. "That's good stuff."
She showed bits and pieces of the type of game that once lifted her to the top of the sport — the No. 1 ranking and seven Grand Slam singles titles, including at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001.
Against Bacsinszky, Williams saved all four break points she faced, converted 3 of 11 she earned, and avoided too many unforced errors, finishing with 12 fewer than her opponent.
"I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I play my best when my opponent pushes me, really. Once we really start to get into a slugfest, I feel like I really relax. Sometimes I feel like when they aren't pushing me as much, maybe I'm a little too passive at times," Williams said, rolling her eyes at that last thought.
"But I do feel ... like I can rely on myself to compete really well," she continued. "So that's a good feeling."
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