Venus Williams
Venus Williams

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams equalled the record number of appearances at a Grand Slam as she survived an early scare.

The 36-year-old saved two set points when 6-5 down to Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the first set before taking a tie-break, going on to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

The world number eight now has 71 Grand Slam appearances, equalling American Amy Frazier’s record set in 2006.
She now faces world number 115 Maria Sakkari of Greece in round two.

Sakkari took one hour and 22 minutes to see off China’s SaiSai Zheng, almost half-an-hour less than Williams required to progress in one hour 51 minutes.

“The first set there were some hairy moments, down some set points, but I guess that’s where experience sets in,” said Williams, playing in her 19th Wimbledon.