The road to Roland Garros made a detour this week in Madrid fir the Madrid WTA 1000 tournament. It’s star power diminished somewhat by the absence of Serena Williams owing to should we say unfortunate comments by tournament director Tiriac. But veteran American Venus took part and played on Friday against compatriot Aussie Open finalist Jen Brady.

This Round of 64 match was set alight early by Venus whose ground strokes helped break Brady’s serve first game.Both would trade breaks in the next two keeping Venus in the lead 2-1.From there everything went pretty much south for Williams. The same dropped head, shrunk confidence and unforced errors that have characterized the later stages of her career was on show. She went on to lose the next 5 games.Watch 3-2 opening point Venus over hitting a back hand to the umpire accusingly for a wrong call.

Brady closing the first set 6-2,how about that forehand from Brady at set point. Secret to that shot was opening up the body and leaning into the ball. Much like the first, the second set started with Venus hitting the ball well. Watch 1-1 with Williams up 15-0.She rolled back the years with superb hitting finished off with a back hand down the line.Now watch this point 1-1 adv Williams break point.How do you compete with a defense like this from Brady. Jen stretching to make a return which just clears the net catching Venus off guard.Venus would break Brady powered by that devastating backhand.Sixth game was the pivotal game of the set. Game went back and forth until brady broke back following another error at a crucial time by Williams.Brady eventually won 6-4 powered by great defensive tennis in between.