Wuhan: Venus Williams’ first visit to Asia since 2017 was cut short as she crashed out of the Wuhan Open first round 7-5, 7-6 to fellow American Danielle Collins on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Venus, a 2015 Wuhan champion now 59th in the world rankings, squandered a lead in the first set before eventually losing to Collins, who recorded just the second match win of her career on Chinese soil.
The 35th-ranked Collins rallied back from 3-5 down in the opening set, winning a whopping nine games in a row to go up 7-5, 5-0.
Venus, a wildcard at Wuhan this year, finally stopped the bleeding, holding the serve to interrupt her opponent’s momentum.
It was the start of a surprising five-game run from Venus, who saved two match points along the way as she drew level at 5-5.
In the decider, Venus got the first mini-break but it was Collins who eventually created a 6-4 gap, converting with an ace on her fourth match point to move into the second round.