Venus Williams Clinches First Top 50 Birmingham Classic Victory in 4 Years

by Xara Aziz
YouTube via ESPN

Venus Williams is back in action after defeating Italy’s Camila Giorgi in a first-round match at the Birmingham Classic.

Williams held back tears after she had to take a medical timeout just five games into the match. But she did not let the injury stop her. With her right knee wrapped in bandages, the 43-year-old beat her opponent to a 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) win.

It is the tennis star’s second singles victory in almost two years following long injury lay-offs.

“I hit some 120 [miles per hour] serves and I haven’t done that in a couple of years – I was like, I’ve missed you!” Williams told a crowd of reporters following the game. “I thought I played well today and she did, too. I’m surprised she’s not number one in the world.”

She continued: “There were so many moments where I thought the match was over and she hit a shot out of nowhere so she pushed me to be better than what I thought I could be.”

During her injury medical timeout, the crowd cheered Williams on as she fought to beat the injury and continue the match.

“I got out to a great start and my leg started hurting in the third game and I thought ‘oh no not this'”, Williams said. “It was hard to control my emotions. Eventually I just tried to ignore it – I couldn’t move as well as I wanted but I tried to get to every ball.”

Meanwhile, world number 48 Giorgi battered the next three games until Williams forced a tie-break, which she clinched with an impressive backhand winner.

The California native appeared winded in the second set, falling a double-break down but reassembed extraordinarily to break back before Giorgi’s sharp hitting required a deciding set.

Williams now ranks 657 and is a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion.

Congratulations, Venus!

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