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Venus Williams, aged 43 and ranked No 697, pulls off surprising win at Birmingham Classic

Tennis: US OPEN

Sep 1, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Venus Williams of the United States hits the ball against Karolina Muchova of Russia on day two of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

At age 43 and ranked No. 697, Venus Williams isn’t done quite yet - especially on her favored surface of grass.

Williams upset 48th-ranked Camila Giorgi 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) after more than three hours at the Birmingham Classic on Monday for her first victory over a player in the top 50 in nearly four years.

Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion and five-time winner of the Wimbledon singles, was out for six months because of a hamstring injury sustained in Auckland in the first week of the year.

On her return last week, she lost to 17-year-old Celine Naef in the first round of the Libema Open in the Netherlands.

Williams said it was “touch and go” against Giorgi.

“There were so many moments where I thought, ‘This match is over,’ then she would hit a shot from out of nowhere,” Williams said. “She pushed me to be better than what I thought I could be, and it’s great for me.

“I haven’t played a lot of matches, and it’s great to come through.”

There were also wins for third-seeded Magda Linette, fifth-seeded Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine and Bernarda Pera of the United States in the Wimbledon warmup event.