Venus Williams upset Kiki Bertens as five seeds fell at the Western & Southern Open.

Venus edges defending champion Bertens, Serena withdraws


Venus Williams edged defending champion Kiki Bertens in a second-round battle at the Western & Southern Open, while sister Serena withdrew on Tuesday.

Struggling to find her best form so far this year, Venus caused an upset by eliminating Bertens at the WTA Premier event in Cincinnati.

But Serena was unable to recover from her back injury in time to take her place at the tournament, withdrawing on a day that saw multiple upsets.

 

VENUS ENDS BERTENS' TITLE DEFENCE

Venus claimed a thrilling 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory over Bertens, the Dutch fifth seed.

The American improved to a 16-10 win-loss record this year as she looks to get on a run, having not yet reached a semi-final in 2019.

The draw has opened up for Venus, with Bertens one of five seeds to fall at the hard-court tournament.

SERENA WITHDRAWS BEFORE OPENER

Serena retired during the Rogers Cup final on Sunday and the 23-time grand slam champion was unable to take her place in Cincinnati.

The two-time winner was due to face Zarina Diyas but withdrew before the match, with the Kazakh instead beating Jessica Pegula for the second time in three days with a 7-5 6-4 victory.

Williams' fitness is a concern with the US Open less than two weeks away and the 37-year-old great looking to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles.

SEEDS STUNNED IN CINCY

Like Bertens, sixth seed Petra Kvitova bowed out in the second round, going down to Maria Sakkari 6-4 2-6 6-3.

There were also three seeded departures in the first round, with two-time runner-up Angelique Kerber among them.

Kerber suffered a 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 loss to Anett Kontaveit, who has now beaten the German in three of their four meetings.

Belinda Bencic retired during her clash with Victoria Azarenka when trailing 6-4 1-0, while Wang Qiang was beaten by Hsieh Su-wei 6-3 6-4.

The one seed to progress was Madison Keys, who sent down 13 aces in a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory over 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza.

Donna Vekic, Daria Kasatkina and Sofia Kenin were also among the first-round winners.



Jaziri wins again in Dubai

Jaziri shines on despite floodlight failure in Dubai

Following his upset win against Grigor Dimitrov, Malek Jaziri marched on at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday.


Stephens survives in Acapulco

Stephens survives in Acapulco, Tsurenko eases through to quarters

US Open champion Sloane Stephens advanced in Acapulco thanks to Wednesday's 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-0 victory over Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus.


Del Potro outlasts Ferrer

Del Potro outlasts Ferrer as Zverev and Thiem advance

Juan Martin del Potro made it through to the last eight by outlasting Spanish veteran David Ferrer 6-4 4-6 6-3 in Acapulco on Wednesday.


Wawrinka ends hard-court season

Wawrinka to miss Indian Wells and Miami Open

Stan Wawrinka feels he would be better off on the practice courts rather than playing at Indian Wells or in Miami.


Pouille outlasts Sugita in Dubai

Pouille outlasts Sugita in Dubai

Yuichi Sugita did not have the staying power as Lucas Pouille reached the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals.