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Venus Williams powers past Konjuh

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Originally published on 10/07/17 00:00

No active player has contested more matches than the five-time former champion, who booked her place in the quarter-finals for the 13th time in her career with a 6-2 6-2 win over Ana Konjuh.

“Winning never gets old at any stage in your career, ever, ever,” said Williams, who has reached the fourth round or better at her last seven majors. “I think that the game has changed a lot in terms of the depth and the power since the first time I won. I would say that's the biggest difference in the game.

“And of course, I've matured, learned a lot about the game since that time. It's really a big difference.”

Ostapenko was just three years old when Williams, 37, claimed her first Wimbledon title. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise since claiming the first tour-level title of her career at Roland Garros, form she has brought with her from Paris to south-west London.

“I didn't watch any of the French when I was finished with it,” admitted Williams, who bowed out in the fourth round. “I know she had an amazing moment there. She's riding on that momentum. Confidence I'm sure. It's just been such an amazing result for her.”

Players can get hung up on their opponents’ tactics, strengths and weaknesses, but for Williams the key has been dealing with what happens on her side of the net.

“When I come to these tournaments, my focus is just me, not necessarily the other 127 women. So that is all I can control, is my performance. That's still my focus at the moment.

“I think I'm playing pretty solid,” she added. “For me it's about getting through the round. You're not going to play perfect every round. I would like to play, you know, in straight sets every round. That would be great. If not, all that matters is you win.”

Williams was all smiles at the thought of joining Wimbledon’s centurion club. “I love doing this,” she said “You have to. It's a lot of work, a lot of pressure. It's not easy. Just love.

But she’s not ready to reflect on her career just yet, not while she’s still a contender to enhance her already glittering legacy.

“Have to ask me when I'm retired, what it feels like,” she explained. “For now, it's all about focusing on the best performance possible tomorrow.”

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