Tennis: Kiwi Jade Lewis trading blows with legend Venus Williams

Kiwi wildcard Jade Lewis up against Venus Williams. Photos / Photosport and Dean Purcell.
Kiwi wildcard Jade Lewis up against Venus Williams. Photos / Photosport and Dean Purcell.

Young Kiwi Jade Lewis will resume battle with tennis legend Venus Williams today, probably already exceeding expectations in a true David v Goliath match-up at the ASB Classic.

The niece of former Wimbledon finalist Chris Lewis and top professional coach Mark Lewis was forced off court by rain last night, after matching the nine-time Grand Slam winner in the opening exchanges.

Bear in mind, second-seeded Williams is currently ranked 17th in the world, Lewis 1103rd.

Logic suggests Williams will eventually prevail, but in the first tournament of the year, with Auckland's blustery winds acting as a leveller, stranger things have happened.

But not many.

"Early signs were positive for Jade Lewis," assessed Radio Sport commentator Matt Brown, in last night's "Game Set and Match" podcast.


"Venus took a little while to get into the match," said former Davis Cup player and co-commentator David Mustard. "She was down 0-40 in her first service game, but came back and won that game.

"Jade Lewis really showed she could stay with Venus and Venus just hasn't quite hit her straps, but full credit to the young Kiwi."

Jade Lewis was a ball girl at the ASB Classic in 2009.
Jade Lewis was a ball girl at the ASB Classic in 2009.

Lewis earned her wildcard berth at the ASB Classic by winning the NZ Residential title last month and has already committed to a tennis scholarship at Louisiana State University.

She and Williams are scheduled to take centrecourt at 12.30pm, with the winner expected to return to face Japanese up-and-comer Naomi Osaka in the second round this evening.

- NZ Herald

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