LONDON – Kurumi Nara made an inspiring challenge but the odds were too great as Japan’s top ranked female player made a second-round exit in a defeat to Venus Williams at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Williams won a first-set tiebreak before steamrolling her opponent after being broken once in the final set en route to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 victory.
The 22-year-old Nara was looking to reach the third round at The All England Club for the first time in her career but came up short against the five time Wimbledon champion.
In a punishing first set, the former world number one’s bruising forehand and thundering serves proved too much for Nara’s scrappy defense.
Despite taking a medical timeout after the first set and coming back on court with strapping on her left thigh, Nara came out swinging in the second, quickly breaking Williams’ serve.
But from that point forward, the vastly experienced Williams took control, relentlessly attacking Nara’s serve and closing out the match with an unstoppable backhand down the line.
Nara kept her unforced errors to a minimum with just five to Williams’ 16, but the American’s aggressive game paid off as she hit 46 winners to Nara’s 16.