French Open: Venus Williams, Dominic Thiem enter Round 2
Venus Williams, seeded 10th, beat China’s Wang Qiang 6-4, 7-6 to enter the second round of 2017 French Open. In men’s singles, Dominic Thiem powered past Australia’s Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in just 80 minutes.Updated: May 29, 2017 16:46 IST
Venus Williams started her 20th French Open with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) win over China’s Wang Qiang on Sunday.
Williams, seeded 10 and three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, had to dig deep to see off her opponent who had led 4-2 in the first set and 5-3, with set points, in the second.
The American veteran, who made her Roland Garros debut in 1997 and was runner-up to sister Serena in Paris in 2002, will next face Japan’s Kurumi Nara.
Nara defeated 15-year-old Amanda Anisimova of the United States in three sets.
Dominic Thiem underlined his burgeoning reputation by dismantling Australia’s Bernard Tomic in straight sets in the opening round.
The Austrian, seen as an outside contender for the title after reaching last year’s semi-finals at Roland Garros, powered past Tomic 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in just 80 minutes.
“It was very hot out there, so I’m happy that I won in three sets,” said 23-year-old Thiem.
“It was a tough opponent and a close first set, I guess. I was also a little bit nervous before the match, I have to say, and because of these circumstances I’m happy with my performance.”
Sixth-seeded Thiem is the only player to defeat nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on clay this season and will play Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli or Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in round two.
Tomic succumbed to a fifth first-round exit in eight appearances in Paris and rued a nightmare draw.
“After Rafa (Nadal), he’s playing the best tennis this year on clay. And for everybody, I think he’s a top three player on clay now. And he’s not a player you want in the first round,” said Tomic.
“He’s been playing well, and really no chance today. He killed me from the start.
“I think game-wise on clay he’s at a different level to me for sure.”