Venus hangs on in Family Circle Cup

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Venus hangs on in Family Circle Cup

Venus Williams advanced in the tournament where her top-ranked sister could not, battling back to beat Chanelle Scheepers 7-5, 7-5 on Wednesday in the Family Circle Cup.

It was another long day for No. 28-ranked Williams, who needed almost two hours to finish the straight-sets victory after falling behind 3-1 in the first set and 4-1 in the second.

“She was playing so well, but the good thing is that when I get behind, I give even more effort and get even more focused. And I’ve been playing well from behind lately, which is something you really have to be able to do to win big matches,’’ Williams said.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion has struggled with injuries and Sjogren’s syndrome, a fatigue-causing autoimmune disease, during the past two years.

“I’m still dealing with the bug, but my goal is just to hang in there until it hopefully goes away and then I can just continue to play my way into the tournament and play stronger,’’ she said. “But it’s definitely a challenge.’’

Venus Williams, who won the Family Circle a decade ago, now faces No. 20 Eugenie Bouchard.

Second-seeded Jelena Jankovic later scored a 6-0, 6-3 victory over American Lauren Davis. Jankovic won the Family Circle in 2007 and was runner-up last year to Serena Williams.

Earlier Wednesday, American Sloane Stephens was upset 6-4, 6-4 by 19-year-old Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine.

AP

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