SAN JOSÉ, CA, USA – No.3 seed Venus Williams was forced to go all the way against Heather Watson before booking her place in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic quarterfinals with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 win, but the WTA World No.14 has said that it was ideal for her.

As the scoreline would suggest, the first two sets were highly competitive before the American raised her game in the decider to power through to the last eight.

And Williams believes being pushed so hard by the WTA World No.133 represents perfect preparation for the challenges that lie ahead in San José. 

“In a lot of ways, I was happy it went to a third because I was forced to lift my game even more and to find my best tennis,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I’ll try to start the next round where I ended it today.

“I have to be ready for the best no matter who I play, no matter what they’re ranked, so the focus is always on what’s going on in my match.

“She was playing really well and I just tried to execute my game because I didn’t practise. In the third set, I just tried to get loose. I want my game to improve throughout the tournament so I went with that mentality.”

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