Venus Williams pushed through to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic after a three set match against Heather Watson.
Williams is now the highest remaining seed in the tournament at number three after the second seed Madison Keys withdrew from her second round match against Ajla Tomljanovic with a right wrist injury earlier in the day.
Williams believes there will be no change in her mindset despite being the top seed now.
“I just focus on my match,” Williams said. “I’m not sure what Watson is ranked, but she played a great match, so I have to be able to be ready for the best tennis at all times during the match no matter who I play, no matter what their rank and a lot of my focus is always on my match.”
The third-seeded Williams started off the match strong as she forced Watson to make three unforced errors in the first game of the opening set and take an early 1-0 lead.
Watson continued to make mistakes in the opening set as she dropped the first two points to Williams in the second after her first double-fault of the match. She quickly fought back to win three straight points in the game to take a 40-30 lead after her first ace of the night. Watson took the second game after a Williams unforced error, her third of the match.
Watson carried her momentum over from the second game to win the first break point of the match and broke Williams’ serve to take a 2-1 lead in the first set.
Both Williams and Watson went back and forth in the opening set as Williams broke Watson’s serve in the fourth game and then again in the 10th game to win the opening set 6-4 and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Williams started the next set much like she did the first set, holding serve and taking a 1-0 lead in the second set. Watson came back to win the next two games, breaking Williams’ serve for the second time in the match take a 3-1 lead in the second set.
The rest of the second set mirrored much of what happened in the first set, except it was Watson this time breaking Williams’ serve for a second time in the set to take a 5-4 lead and hold serve in the 10th game to win the game 6-4, forcing a third and final set in the match.
Williams, despite Watson’s late push in the second set, made quick work of her opponent in the third set. Williams broke Watson’s serve three times and won the set 6-0 and won the match 2-1.
Williams kept her same mentality to keep improving throughout the tournament, which led to her dominant third set.
“She was playing really well and I really just tried to keep my game as I did in practice and in the third set I was just trying to get loose,” Williams said. “I want my game to improve throughout this whole tournament so I just kept that same mentality.”
Williams lost her quarterfinal match to Maria Sakkari Friday night ending her time at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.