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Praise for Lewis from tennis legend

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017

Teenager Jade Lewis has received plenty of encouragement from Venus Williams after a straight-sets loss to the tennis legend in the ASB Classic.

Wildcard Lewis, 18, had held set point in the first set, but couldn't convert, putting a forehand into the net.

In a first-round encounter halted at 2-2 by rain the previous night, Lewis eventually went down 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 on Wednesday.

"I loved her intensity - she wanted to win and she expected a lot from herself," Williams said.

"Those are all the things you want to see in a young person. I think she could do a lot in this game, I really do."

Williams, a seven-time grand slam singles champion and 2015 Auckland winner, is ranked 17th in the world to Lewis's 1099.

But she struggled with her serve in the swirling wind, before pulling away during the tiebreak and the second set.

Despite the fight she put up, Lewis was visibly disappointed after her defeat.

"I'm pretty upset with myself - missing that forehand on set point," she said.

But there is plenty that she will take out of the experience, including confidence from the level she was able to attain in the opening set.

"I was glad I was able to put myself in that position," she said of coming close to claiming the first set.

"I definitely have to believe that I can play well against someone who is at the top in the world."

Lewis is the niece of 1983 Wimbledon finalist Chris Lewis.

Her loss to Williams ends New Zealand participation in the singles, with Marina Erakovic having also failed to get past the first round.

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