Wuhan ,China, Sep 22 : In an at times contentious and closely-fought match throughout, American wildcard entry Venus Williams crashed out of the 2019 Wuhan Open in the round of 64 here on Sunday, falling to world No. 35 Danielle Collins 7-5, 7-6 (5).
The match saw both players stumble at key moments that would have put the momentum solidly on their side.
Each player held serve out of the gate to 1-all, before a Williams break set off a back and forth that saw the two players trade breaks to 3-2.
Williams managed to find her rhythm with solid shooting from the baseline, holding her serves to 5-2 and gaining the chance to serve for the set.
Collins then began to put up a much better fight, forcing several netted errors with a cross-court forehand that began to wear on Williams, garnering her two consecutive breaks and a hold of her own on the way to a one-set lead.
The second set initially looked like it would be a much more straightforward affair, with Collins breaking Williams twice as she stormed to a 4-0 lead that she duly let disappear as Williams responded with two breaks of her own to level it at 5-all. Both players then held serve to force a tiebreak that Collins was able to take.
It was a match that at times seemed to be painful for the players on either end of the court. Williams was perturbed by several disruptions from the crowd at the Optics Valley Tennis Center, while Collins questioned the decisions of both the chair and the line umpires, and she may have had a valid gripe or two, making two successful challenges to balls that were miles off where they were called.
Collins will face the winner of the all-Belorussian derby between 2018 Wuhan Open champ Arnya Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the round of 32.(XINHUA)