Venus Williams ramps up intensity in practice with Canadian Open ahead

Former World No.1 Venus Williams made her comeback in the singles competition this week at the Citi Open Washington after a year-long layoff. She last competed in the category at the Chicago Open in August 2021, where Su-Wei Hsieh beat her in the first round.

Things didn't go as planned for the American legend at the WTA 250 event in Washington DC, as she failed to win her opening match. The seven-time Grand Slam champion comfortably took the first set from Rebecca Marino, but a barrage of double-faults (13) gave the 31-year-old Canadian the confidence to fight back.

Marino trailed 4-1 in the third set before taking complete control and winning five straight games to finish the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes. Out of the five break points that Williams faced, she could only save one. However, the 42-year-old is experienced enough to cope with setbacks and has started preparing for the National Bank Open (Rogers Cup), or the Canadian Open, starting next week.

Williams, who entered the WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal as a wildcard, recently shared a photograph of herself at a practice session on Instagram.

"Tempo has reached critical level," Williams wrote.

Last month, Williams teamed up with Andy Murray's brother Jamie Murray to participate in the mixed-doubles category at Wimbledon. They won a close first-round match but lost in the second.

Prior to the 2022 US Open, Venus Williams is set to compete at the Canadian Open as well as the Cincinnati Masters as a wildcard entrant. In a press conference after her early exit on Monday, the two-time US Open champion suggested that lack of match practice was the main reason for her loss.

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