Venus v Voegele live video
Venus 6-3 6-2 Voegele
Voegele decides to go down all Voeguns blazing. A big forehand mow meets net, a Venus overhead stuck in the same place delays the inevitable and a crashing forehand seals the deal. Venus beams happily and waves at the crowd - enjoyable hors d'oeuvre, that one.
Venus 6-3 *5-2 Voegele
Uh-oh - unforced error from Voegele, only her seventh of the match but enough to give Venus a chance at 30-40. Crash - Venus grabs it with alacrity. My idle threat will remain exactly that.
Venus 6-3 4-2* Voegele
Unlucky there for Stef. She stands firm in a toe-to-toe exchange of thumping forehands but then just misses with an attempted winner out wide. There's a lovely dinking pass at the net to haul her to deuce, only for an eyes-shut slash to eat net and a backhand under pressure to drift long. Socks go back on.
Venus 6-3 *3-2 Voegele
An aeroplane roars across the blue up above as the Centre Court spectators lean forward in their padded seats. Voegele saves a break point with crisp backhand drives but she's riled Venus, and there's no stopping those thumping forehands. Break taken back taken back, if you know what I mean.
Venus 6-3 2-2* Voegele
That's nice from Voegele - she stands tall to thump a forehand service return back across Venus's bows, and then pushes her around court like a mirror-image to set up two break points. Fordyce - what foolish promise have you made? Venus saves one with a backhand whipped cross-court and the other with a marmalising forehand, but then faces another after a fine Voegele lob puts her in trouble. Stef looks like she must surely take it - the ball is mid-court with Venus nowhere - but she crashes her backhand into the net. Venus is fooled by a net-cord and duffs a recovery into the net, and when Voegele forces another error with three rapier forehands, the break is taken back. I'm taking my socks off...
Venus 6-3 *2-1 Voegele
Hmmm. Dicey times these for Voegele - Venus launches two blitzkreig forehands past her, and that's a break to love. If there's a comeback on the cards from this point I'll streak across Centre. Without sun-cream.
Venus 6-3 1-1* Voegele
Venus unwraps a new racquet from her secret stash and blows Voegele away with it - big forehands, thumping volleys as she dashes in to the net.
Venus 6-3 *0-1 Voegele
Ouch - the Voegele second serve has all the menace of a stick of candyfloss, and Venus will munch on that all day long. Stef double-faults as she tries to add some whump but then pings a backhand/forehand combo onto the baseline to stay in the game, and drills a backhand down the line to encouraging applause from the three-quarters full grandstands.
Venus 6-3 Voegele
At 15-15 and a short Venus second serve, Stef has a sniff - soon snuffed out by the power of that serve and forehand. Super raking drives to either side from Venus, her 13th and 14th of the match, and that's the set in the bag. Big ask now for the 19-year-old challenger.
Venus *5-3 Voegele
Alas - a lame double-fault from Stef offers up a set point for Venus - saved with a brace of big first serves. That's more like it, too - another big first serve, and it's two games on the bounce for the plucky underdog.
Venus 5-2* Voegele
Picture perfect conditions out there - an unblemished slab of green turf mown in contrasting stripes, line-judges like extras from the Great Gatsby and row upon row of quietly over-excited tennis fans gazing on while noses pink in the roasting sun. Decent pluck and spunk from Stef, too - forcing Venus to stretch for an overhead, push a volley wide and concede a break back to the surprise of all concerned.
Venus *5-1 Voegele
11 straight points becomes 14 before finally Venus nets on her forehand. The respite has barely begun, however, when it's over - another weal serve munched with relish by the champ. Four straight games for the number three seed.
Venus 4-1* Voegele
Make that double trouble. 11 points on the bounce for Venus as she holds for love. Better cram in some more Stef stats before it's too late - she's also a big fan of Friends and The Simpsons.
Venus *3-1 Voegele
Trouble for Voegele. Venus comes out of the changeover with fresh spring in those heavily-endorsed heels and tears into the Swiss Miss's serve - break to love. The rust and dust is being brushed away.
Venus 2-1* Voegele
Oh I say, Maskell-fashion - delightful running forehand pass from Venus after Stef slams a volley deep at 15-30. Boomers on either side seal the game. Not at her best yet, Venus, but that wingspan and power can get her out of any squeaky corners.
Venus *1-1 Voegele
Venus slipping like Bambi on this lush south-west London turf. Almost an embarrassing typing error from Fordyce there - you don't want to go a key too far left at the end of that last sentence. Stef draws Champ to the net and then drills a sweet backhand pass down the line, and she's on the board. Super start.
Venus 1-0* Voegele
Change of fortune? Which soothsayer sans parallel predicted that? A meaty return foxes Venus after a double-fault, and suddenly Stef's looking at a break point. Venus thrashes down a big serve to save one, slaps a backhand into the net to give away another and then booms a forehand into the left-hand corner to peg it back to deuce. Surprised cheers from the galleries. A swinging forehand from Stef sails out, and after another trademark Venus crunch-serve, the game is gone.
By the way - should you be keen on watching the video up above this text, you might want to hit F5 now.
Voegele's not been pulling up many trees this year. She fell in qualifying at the Aussie Open and failed to get through to the tournaments proper in Auckland, Indian Wells and Miami. Here's to a dramatic change of fortune.
Venus doesn't need any introducing, surely. Here she comes now, strolling out in to the Centre Court sunshine with that familiar long-legged gait, a white sun-visor shielding her eyes. Must be tough dealing with the baking 22C British heat when you grew up in Los Angeles.
Voegele, you won't need me to tell you, began playing tennis at the age of four and admired Steffi Graf as a youngster. Now 19 and resident in Lueggern, she enjoys travelling but doesn't like all the clothes washing that her life as a tennis pro requires. If I'm honest, I don't like all the clothes washing that my life as a non tennis pro requires, but you don't get me moaning to the WTA about it.
Later doors, of course, we'll have the first outbreak of Murraymania. Murrayitis. Murraypox. Before then, it's defending women's champion Venus Williams against Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele. Don't give me that "who?" nonsense - I'll fill you in shortly.
Afternoon - everyone well? Splendid day in progress at SW19 - clean blue skies up above, the whiff of Ambre Solaire in the nostrils, the slip-slap sound of sandals and flip-flops filling the warming air.