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Originally published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 8:05 PM

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Venus Williams shows that she’s still relevant

Let others wonder when or whether Venus Williams might move on from tennis. She’s not ready to contemplate going anywhere just yet.


The Associated Press

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LONDON — Let others wonder when or whether Venus Williams might move on from tennis. She’s not ready to contemplate going anywhere just yet.

Even as her early losses accumulated, even as Williams got older and was forced to deal with health issues, she never entertained the idea of quitting.

Here she is, at age 34, once again a factor at Wimbledon, site of five of her seven major titles. And there’s a matchup looming against another former champ, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.

Williams overcame a slow start Wednesday for a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 victory over 41st-ranked Kurumi Nara of Japan to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for only the second time in her past 10 appearances.

“I don’t like watching it on TV. I want to be out there. I’m not about the easy thing. Life is a challenge. For me, when I leave tennis, I want it to be on my own terms. I want to know that I rose to every challenge. I want to look back with no regrets,” Williams said.

The sixth-seeded Kvitova had zero trouble in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over 59th-ranked Mona Barthel of Germany.

The biggest names sent home were No. 8 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the two-time Australian Open champion beaten by Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; and No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain, who lost 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 against qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.

Defending champion Andy Murray of Britain and last year’s runner-up, 2011 titlist Novak Djokovic of Serbia, both won. Murray beat Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, and Djokovic outlasted Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5).

Notes

Martina Hingis, 33, from Switzerland, lost in the first round of women’s doubles in her return to Wimbledon, seven years after a positive test for cocaine led to one of her retirements.

Fabio Fognini of Italy was fined $27,500 for outbursts during his first-round victory.



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