WHAT HAPPENED: Two-time US Open champion and No. 16 seed Venus Williams remained on a collision course with her younger sister Serena after defeating Camila Giorgi, 6-4, 7-5, in the second round on Wednesday.
Playing her first match in the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, Williams weathered a barrage of fierce groundstrokes from Giorgi, a former world No. 30 who reached the fourth round in New York five years ago.
The Italian made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon earlier this summer, but on Wednesday she lacked the consistency of her performances in southwest London despite occasional flashes of brilliant shot-making. Giorgi comes at you full speed with an almost brash disregard for consequences, but when she can’t quite catch the slivers of lines upon which her high-risk approach is so heavily dependent, things can change in a New York minute.
Williams recorded fewer than half as many winners as Giorgi —13 to 29 — but the Italian also committed 41 unforced errors, which accounted for exactly half of the 38-year-old’s 82 points.
A Giorgi double fault at 3-4 gave Williams the opportunity to serve out the first set, but the American squandered two opportunities to seize the early advantage — Giorgi closing well at the net both times — before the 26-year-old right-hander got back on serve.
The reprieve was short lived, however, and Williams did eventually take the opener, with Giorgi dumping a backhand into the net on Williams’ fourth set point.
A pocket dynamo who dances along razor-thin lines, Giorgi opened the second set aggressively with a break of serve, but Williams got back on track in the sixth game to level the set at 3-3. Williams dug herself out of a 0-40 hole in saving five break points at 4-4 before wrapping up the match on her first match point when the Italian made consecutive errors from the forehand wing.
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