Venus Williams falls to Kiki Bertens in third round of Wimbledon

For the third straight match, ninth-seeded Venus Williams lost the first set.

Unlike the last two times, though, she couldn’t battle back. The seven-time Grand Slam champ is out of Wimbledon in the third round. No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands is into the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-7, 8-6 victory

Venus Williams starts slow again

Williams, 38, looked sluggish in the opening set, putting just 54 percent of her first serves in. She also made 14 errors compared with Bertens’ one. Bertens converted on three of her eight break opportunities in a thoroughly dominant opening set.

But Williams battled back in the second set, cutting her unforced errors from 14 to just six. In a set featuring four breaks — two apiece — Williams came up big in a tiebreaker she had to win, taking it seven points to five to force a decisive third.

After an early break in the third, it looked like Williams’ momentum would carry her to the finish line, but Bertens broke back quickly. The two remained on serve, with Williams surviving multiple break points against her. At five games to six, Williams went down 0-30 but came back emphatically, winning four straight points — capped by an overhead slam — to make it 6-6.

At Wimbledon, unlike at other tournaments, the final set continues until a player goes up two games, rather than going to a tiebreak. Bertens started the extra games with a straightforward hold before a marathon 14th game. Williams managed to stave off two match points before hitting a backhand into the net, ending her Wimbledon run.

Bertens is into the fourth round

Bertens has been playing some great tennis over the past months, and she’ll look to continue her career-best Wimbledon run against the winner of seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova and 29th-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu.

With Williams’ loss, only two of the top nine seeds on the women’s side remain.

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Venus Williams is out in the third round of Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Venus Williams is out in the third round of Wimbledon. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)