Wimbledon 2014: Venus Williams sets up battle of champions with Petra Kvitova

 

wimbledon

There will be a meeting of former champions tomorrow after Venus Williams came through a rollercoaster second-round match to earn a tie against the sixth seed and 2011 winner Petra Kvitova.

Williams, suffering for the past three years from the debilitating Sjogren's syndrome, is ranked No 31 these days but can still turn on the power in bursts. Two of them, one in each set, blew away Japan's Kurumi Nara 7-6, 6-1 in one of those almost comical Little v Large contests.

The strapping 6ft 1in American, eight times a finalist here and five times a winner, was a full foot taller than her opponent, who nevertheless took a 3-0 lead. Williams then reeled off five games in a row and in the eventual tie-break – "when it comes down to who's going to be more aggressive and consistent," she said – won six successive points for the first set.

In the second, it was six straight games after losing the first, to complete a popular triumph. "My whole goal is just to keep playing and stay as healthy as I can," she said.

As the oldest player left in the women's singles, the 34-year-old is prepared to look further ahead, indicating a possible switch to just playing doubles with her younger sister Serena: "That could still be an opportunity to get major titles, enjoy the game, still go to the Olympics."

Coaching, however, has been ruled out: "I love to help people and to see young people do well, but I don't want to be out here waiting on a rain delay again."

It will be her 89th Wimbledon singles match against Kvitova, who defeated Mona Barthel of Germany 6-2, 6-0. In the same half of the draw, eighth seed Victoria Azarenka went out to Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska briefly lost her concentration on Centre Court after going 5-1 up in the first set against the Australian Casey Dellacqua but regained it to ease through 6-4, 6-0.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935