Venus outlasts Ostapenko in marathon Singapore epic

Aubrey Yates
October 24, 2017

The American ended the Latvian's charge at only her second major at Wimbledon this summer in the quarter-finals.

Venus Williams kept her hopes of returning to world No. 1 alive after an epic battle with Jelena Ostapenko at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The only ones longer were a 3 hour and 29 minute match between Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani in Turkey in 2012, and an encounter between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova here in 2014 that lasted 3 hours and 14 minutes. While Williams held in the 11th game to keep herself marginally ahead in the set, a second service break on Ostapenko's serve saw her surrender her momentum to Williams, who pocketed the one-set lead.

The 20-year-old delivered 12 of the first 13 winners in the match before her confidence nosedived as she struggled with her serve.

The roller-coaster nature of the contest continued, with Williams levelling the set at 3-3 to get back on track, and then blowing a match point two games later. But Williams broke serve after her opponent served four double faults in the third game.

Ostapenko is the WTA's tour leader for three-set matches, and she headed into her 27th deciding set of the season.

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But 37-year-old Williams proved she had more than enough stamina, taking the decisive break in game 11, finally grabbing her fourth break of the set having seen six consecutive opportunities fade away.

Serving for the match, there was no turning back for the seven-time Grand Slam champion as she held steady, hitting a backhand victor cross court on her second match point.

But Williams eventually held on for an exceptionally gritty victory.

Garbine Muguruza and Pliskova will do battle later in Singapore, with the victor assuming control of the White Group.

The Czech qualifies for the semis with a win, Muguruza with a two-set victory.

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