sport

Williams survives scare

Venus Williams survived an error-strewn performance on her way to a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Austrian Yvonne Meusburger in the ASB Classic in Auckland.

In a rain-disrupted match, the 33-year-old American was broken twice early on as she dropped the first set before rallying to win the next two.

She next faces Spaniard Garbine Muguruza who also dropped the first set against Canadian qualifier Sharon Fichman before recovering to win 1-6 6-3 6-3.

Williams, who also struggled against Czech wildcard Andrea Hlavackova in the first round, said she would not adopt a more conservative approach in the quarter-finals.

"If I stop being aggressive and start playing her game, that's when I'm really in trouble," she said.

"So it's better for me to get it out of my system and they start landing, than for me to push back and not move forward."

Although former world No 1 has struggled in Auckland and and is now down to 47 in the world, fifth seed and fellow American Jamie Hampton said she remained a threat.

"The top half of the draw has fallen apart, but also you've got the unseeded Venus Williams which is a bit of a tough one," said Hampton, the only seeded player left in her half of the draw.

Hampton, who reached the last eight with a 6-3 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova, is ranked 28th in the world but admitted: "No one really know who I am so I can float under the radar a bit, but I'd like some exposure.

Of the other seeded players in action on the third day, second seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia cruised to a 6-1 6-1 victory over Swede Johanna Larsson and third seed Kirsten Flipkens beat Karolina Pliskova, Kristyna's twin, 6-4 6-3.