After loss to Coco Gauff, Venus now loses to #674 Mattek-Sands in The Valley

Colourful Beth Mattek wins US Open 2018 Mixed Doubles with Jamie Murray

Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Bethanie Mattek-Sands dealt Venus Williams a second straight loss in a first round as the colourful, one-off American fired 34 winners on her way into the second round on Tuesday.

Williams, who went down in her opening match at age 39 four weeks ago at Wimbledon to Coco Gauff, became the first injury-comeback victim of 674th-ranked Mattek-Sands

The winner who sports knee-high socks and an arm sleeve of tats, last won a match more than a year ago at the French Open and last succeeded on hardcourt in Miami more than two years ago.

Mattek-Sands, who once stood atop the WTA doubles table, won 27 of the last 31 points to secure the welcome win in northern California’s Silicon Valley.

Venus is a legend, and it was awesome playing here. I love night matches,” the 34-year-old winner said.

“It’s been a tough couple of years (serious knee injury at Wimbledon, 2017 followed by another problem).

“I’ve had a few surgeries – it feels like 12 – but I’m feeling really good.”

The winner said she played a simple strategy against the American icon. “I neutralised Venus’ serve a little bit.

“A lot of times she can get some free points on that first serve, so I stood back a little bit, and we were grinding.

“The reason she’s such a champion is because she will come up with some good shots, so I wasn’t about to take my foot off the pedal there.”

The comeback victory came after almost two and a half hours and sends Mattek-Sands into a matchup with Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

The winner converted on even of 18 breaks points against Williams, who ended with 31 winners and 34 unforced errors.

The second set was her first set won against Williams in more than a decade dating to 2009 Roland Garros.

Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online

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