Venus Williams was satisfied with her efforts despite a second-round US Open defeat, with fifth seed Elina Svitolina ultimately proving too strong.
The 39-year-old home favourite had her chances in the second set, leading by a break on a couple of occasions but was unable to keep the momentum going as the Ukrainian won 6-4 6-4.
Despite her advancing years, the two-time US Open winner is still passionate about her time on the WTA Tour and still hopes to ‘build on’ her game as she approaches her 40s.
‘Today was a great match. It was well-contested and it was great to have the crowd behind me. It was just a really magical atmosphere.
‘I did a lot of things right today. A lot of great things to build on. I’m excited to get to my next matches and sad it had to end early here.
‘She always plays extremely well against me. You know, she can keep that form up and she’s got a lot of great things ahead of her. I think there are probably a lot of matches that are winnable for her that she hasn’t been able to win. But against me, she plays extremely well.
‘You know, she keeps that up, then she’s clearly extremely talented and just can continue to go higher.’
Svitolina – who takes on Dayana Yastremska next – was impressed by the fighting spirit displayed by the veteran American.
‘Well, always when I face her, it’s always a challenge because she always – you don’t know what to expect,’ Svitolina said.
‘She always fights. She never gives you, you know – you have to earn. You have to earn almost every point. You have to step up your game. If you give her short ball she always takes it on. So you have to be aware.
‘And playing every point, that’s, I think, what is challenging to play against her. And obviously we could see when it was 3-5, you know, she really stepped up. Went for her second serves. Maybe I was not expecting a little bit. So, you know, you have to use your experience to stay in the match. I think I played very solid in the end to close the match.’