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Tennis-Svitolina wears down Venus to reach U.S. Open third round

Credit: REUTERS/USA TODAY USPW

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina knocked Venus Williams out of the U.S. Open to reach the third round on Wednesday despite an heroic defensive effort from the 39-year-old former champion.

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Fifth seed Elina Svitolina knocked Venus Williams out of the U.S. Open to reach the third round on Wednesday despite an heroic defensive effort from the 39-year-old former champion.

Trailing 5-3 in the second set, seven-times Grand Slam champion Williams saved five-match points to hold serve in a dramatic 22-point game.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian, who has reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the past two years, struggled to convert break points throughout the match, winning just four out of 17.

Svitolina, who beat Williams in the first round at Roland Garros this year, called the American an "inspiration".

"I had to stay very focused," said the 24-year-old Ukrainian. "She's a very experienced player so she knows how to handle (these) moments."

(Reporting by Amy Tennery Editing by Toby Davis)

((Amy.Tennery@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6343;))

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