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Win over Serena gives Brengle huge boost

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017

Giant killer Madison Brengle will go into the ASB Classic quarterfinals with a huge lift in confidence.

The unfancied American pulled off what is being rated as the biggest upset in the Auckland tournament's history by knocking out superstar compatriot Serena Williams.

While Williams, the top seed and world No.2, made a host of unforced errors in windy conditions, Brengle kept returning the ball to prevail 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.

"It's something you dream about," she said.

"You get to play to Serena, and to have this result and to have it in your pocket gives you a little extra of confidence.

"It was really cool and a great way to start the year."

The one previous meeting between the pair had resulted in a 6-0 6-1 defeat for Brengle, whose one match against the other Williams sister, Venus, had finished 6-0 6-0.

So when she got the board with her first service game, "I was like, 'I can relax and enjoy it'."

Brengle said getting into a hitting battle with a more powerful opponent wasn't going to work.

"I tried to change it up a lot, use my forehand slice, play angles and get as many balls back as I possibly could," she said.

"I knew I had to do something a little bit different."

Williams, 35, described the conditions as "probably my least favourite" she had played in during her career.

The 26-year Brengle said they were tough, but she had experienced worse.

"I mean, have you been to Hobart? The most wind I've played in was in Hobart," she said.

"You can get some windy days there that it almost becomes not tennis. Compared to that, I felt as least we could play points."

Brengle's win sets up a first meeting with 19-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, the No.7 seed, on Thursday.

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