Playing in another classic battle, Venus Williams stood tall and showed the tennis world that she's not done just yet. In her debut appearance in Montreal, Williams won her first two matches and took on Angelique Kerber of Germany in the third round; Kerber is someone who's given Williams plenty of trouble in prior meetings, including the infamous second round thriller at the US Open in 2012 that Kerber won. It's Kerber's incredible defense that gives Williams so much trouble; the fact that the ball just constantly comes back no matter where she fires it just wreaks havoc on the sometimes erratic game of the elder stateswoman on the WTA Tour.
Coming into the third round, both players had been playing well; Venus has been building plenty of confidence and really just narrowly losing in a few matches whereas Kerber is coming off a run to the quarters if Wimbledon and a finals appearance in Stanford. This matchup is a prime example of attack verses defense, where one player is making things happen and the other is waiting for things to happen; it's a matchup that's intriguing and that wows the crowd, and that's exactly what happened last night.
The first two sets were both lopsided victories for both players; Williams came out on fire with the lightning serve she's known for and quickly bolted to a 5-0 lead. It wasn't until that point that Kerber was able to get on the scoreboard and build some kind of momentum. It was all to no avail in that set as Williams won it in comfortable fashion, 6-3. The second set was a complete reversal of the first set as Kerber found her range and Williams started to spray the ball. Williams would, just like Kerber in the first set, fight towards the end of the set but it too was all to no avail as Kerber claimed the second set by equal margin. Now here's where things took off.
Heading into the third set, Williams was still misfiring and found herself in a small hole; down a break already, Williams faced a break point and someone through caution to the wind and laced three forehands down the line for winners and squeaked out a gritty hold. Once Williams was able to dig into the third set, things heated up drastically; she broke back and was on level terms with her German opponent and the two of them never looked back.
Exchanging forehands and backhands, the two would endure long grueling rallies that would have your heart fluttering and your eyes wide from excitement. It was a test of wills, a battle of emotions, it was everything you'd want out of a tennis match all combined into one glorious set! Williams and her power against Kerber and her guile, it was definitely the set of the year.
Holding serve, breaking serve, Williams and Kerber found theirselves deep in the third fighting for their lives, trying so hard to earn a hard fought win. Williams would reach match point at 3-5 and was unable to capitalize on it and Kerber hung tough and evened up the score. Booming some serves, Williams held to take a 6-5 lead and forced Kerber to once again serve to stay in the match and in what would prove to be the most pivotal game of the match, Williams would dig incredibly deep and reach match point again. This time around, Williams sent a forehand down the line and rose her fist in the air and gritted her teeth, it was one of those gritty wins that has defined her career.
If there's one thing to take from this match it's that Venus Williams is not done by any stretch of the imagination, she's still very much in the thick of things. Her 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory over Kerber is a prime example of what this woman is still capable of. Stand tall Venus, stand tall.