Venus Williams has quelled an early rebellion by New Zealand teenager Jade Lewis to progress to the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
The seven-time grand slam singles champion and 2015 Auckland winner faced set point in the opening set before steadying and going on to prevail 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.
Wildcard Lewis, who turned 18 in December and whose ranking of 1099 compares with her opponent’s 17, showed variety in her game plan and a willingness to go for her shots.
The niece of former Wimbledon finalist Chris Lewis, she had set point when leading 5-4, but sent a forehand into the net.
Williams, who was plagued by double faults in the swirling conditions, recovered but then dropped serve again, before levelling at 6-6.
The 36-year-old American, the tournament second seed behind sister Serena, then pulled away.
She won the tie-break comfortably and was largely untroubled in second set.
The match had resumed at 2-2 on Wednesday after having been disrupted by rain the previous night.
The weather delay means Williams will be back in action later in the day in a second-round encounter against another teenager, Japan’s Naomi Osaka.