Venus Williams downs wildcard Jade Lewis

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.

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