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Venus fumes after heavy winds force time violation


Venus Williams tennis

FILE — Venus Williams of the US serves the ball to Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova during their women’s singles first round tennis match at the 2020 French Open on September 27, 2020. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

A struggling Venus Williams got more than she bargained for in the form of divine intervention when heavy winds resulted in a controversial time violation in her 5-7 6-2 6-2 loss to Anna Schmiedlova at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma on Monday.

After taking the first set 7-5 despite being 5-2 down, 40-year-old Williams was losing her grip on the match when heavy winds forced her to take her time on serve, resulting in the time violation and a confrontation with the chair umpire.

“I can’t control God,” Williams told the chair umpire after going 4-1 down in the second set. “I’m just saying that wind blows and there is nothing I can do about that.

“I can’t control God, talk to him,” the former world number one added, pointing a finger upwards before walking back to the baseline.

Williams lost her momentum as her unforced errors count continued to rise and a brief resurgence in the decider failed to prevent Schmiedlova from sealing her fourth consecutive victory over the American after two hours and 39 minutes.

While Williams had a day to forget as she continues to look for her first claycourt win this season, her younger sister and top seed Serena advanced after beating teenage qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3 6-2.

“Lisa played really well,” Serena said. “She told me she was only 17. Her future is super-bright, she handled the moment well, so I look forward to cheering for her in the future.”

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