Venus Williams, the tennis star, secured a significant victory by defeating the 48th-ranked Camile Giorgi, marking her first win against a top 50 player in almost four years. The intense match took place on Monday, June 19, at England’s Birmingham Classic, where Williams, now ranked No. 697, triumphed with a score of 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) on her preferred grass surface. After more than three hours on the court, the seven-time Grand Slam champion advanced to the next round.
During the on-court interview, Williams acknowledged the challenge of playing against Giorgi, stating, “I hadn’t played her in so long…I think she loves this surface… She’s dangerous out here.” The reporter responded by acknowledging Williams’ own prowess, to which she expressed her surprise and joy at once again serving at speeds of 120mph, exclaiming, “Oh, thank you! And I hit some serves at 120mph today, so I was like ‘Oh my god. There it is. I’ve missed you!'”
Williams had been sidelined for six months due to a hamstring injury sustained in Auckland at the beginning of the year. Upon her recent return, she suffered a first-round loss to 17-year-old Celine Naef at the Libema Open in the Netherlands. Reflecting on her match against Giorgi, Williams described it as “touch and go,” with numerous moments where she believed the match was over, only for Giorgi to hit incredible shots out of nowhere. Williams acknowledged the challenging competition and expressed her satisfaction with the win, stating, “She pushed me to be better than what I thought I could be, and it’s great for me. I haven’t played a lot of matches, and it’s great to come through.”