Emotional Williams Wins Birmingham Thriller Against Giorgi1 min read
Venus Williams defied her physical problems to beat Italy’s Camila Giorgi in an emotional first-round thriller at the Birmingham Classic.
American Williams appeared to be in tears after taking a medical timeout just five games into the match.
However, with her right knee heavily strapped, the 43-year-old battled to a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) win.
It was only Williams’ second singles victory in almost two years after lengthy injury lay-offs.
“I hit some 120mph serves and I haven’t done that in a couple of years – I was like, I’ve missed you!” Williams, now ranked 657, said.
“I thought I played well today and she did too. I’m surprised she’s not number one in the world.
“There were so many moments where I thought the match was over and she hit a shot out of nowhere so she pushed me to be better than what I thought I could be.”
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, received vocal support from the Birmingham crowd as she pushed through her physical limitations in a gruelling encounter.
She had lost on her return to grass-court tennis at the Libema Open last week but, despite a heavily strapped right knee, showed some of her trademark grit to secure victory over Giorgi.
“I got out to a great start and my leg started hurting in the third game and I thought ‘oh no not this'”, Williams added.
“It was hard to control my emotions. Eventually I just tried to ignore it – I couldn’t move as well as I wanted but I tried to get to every ball.”