Friday, September 4, 2015 8:13 pm
Venus Williams, at 35, the oldest woman playing in the US Open, has beaten Belinda Bencic, the rising Swiss teenage tennis star, 6-3, 6-4, to qualify for the fourth round of the US Open.
Eighteen year-old Belinda, the youngest tennis player remaining on the field, had beaten, world number one, Serena Williams at the semi final stage in Toronto masters last month.
“Please stop mentioning that,” the elder Williams sister joked when it was pointed out that she made her US Open debut back in 1997.
Bencic was only six months old when Williams, unseeded and ranked 66th, made a stunning run to the final before losing to Martina Hingis.
Eighteen years on, Hingis, the Swiss great was watching from the stands on Arthur Ashe Stadium as part of her teenage compatriot’s team.
Bencic is the only player to have beaten Serena Williams on a hard court this year, but if both sisters remain on course it could now be Venus who provides the major obstacle to her sister’s hopes of a calendar Grand Slam.
“It is wonderful to be here still,” added Venus Williams. “I love the game, I love the US Open and I love how everyone here got behind me even when I was down in the second set.
“Bencic is a tenacious player so I’m pleased to have played a great match against someone who has won a lot this summer.
“My game is always a balance between playing aggressively and making errors. But I would rather make errors and go for it.”
The 23rd-seeded American could meet younger sister Serena Williams in the quarter-finals in New York.
*With post match reports by BBC