Venus survives tough test from youthful Kasatkina
LONDON (Reuters) - Experience wrestled aside youth at Wimbledon on Friday when Venus Williams, at 36 the oldest woman in the draw, overcame rain interruptions and Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina 7-5 4-6 10-8 to reach the fourth round.
Kasatkina, 19, demonstrated clearly how she has leapt 128 places up the rankings in the last year, saving two match points, one after a lengthy rain stoppage.
The women were forced off court with Williams on match point as the heavens opened for a third time in the match, the scoreboard showing 7-5 4-6 7-6 and 40-30 in the eighth seed's favour. Kasatkina won the next three points using a hefty serve.
"This was like something out of a movie," a beaming Williams said.
Five-times champion Williams, who suffered peaks and troughs of form throughout the two hour 41 minute match, finally downed the 29th-seeded Wimbledon debutant on her third match point with a thundering return that the Russian dumped in the net.
Kasatkina was just a few weeks old when Williams first played at Wimbledon in 1997 and it was the older woman who held her nerve to the last.
"It wasn't easy to play out there today," the American said.
(Reporting by Clare Lovell, editing by Ed Osmond)