Los Angeles: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will have to wait for a 50th career WTA title after bowing out in the third round of the claycourt tournament in Charleston yesterday.
Beaten: Venus Williams
Williams, the third seed, had put together back-to-back wins for the first time since lifting her 49th title in Taiwan in February, but was toppled 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-4 by Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
The 35-year-old American joined second-seeded Swiss Belinda Bencic, fourth-seeded Lucie Safarova and sixth-seeded Andrea Petkovic out of the tournament. But top-seeded Angelique Kerber, the reigning Australian Open champion, powered into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over qualifier Kristina Kucova. Kerber fired 35 winners and converted seven of her 10 break point chances, staying steady in difficult, windy conditions.
“It was a really tricky match. It was really windy and it was a completely different condition than before. I played two days ago in the night session and it was windy, cold,” said Kerber, who next faces Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.