Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino was left with mixed emotions after turning heads at the U.S. Open yesterday, giving American Venus Williams all she could handle in the first set before succumbing 7-6 (3), 6-3 to the third seed.

“It’s a little disappointing but also exciting,” said the 19-year-old from Vancouver. “I was super excited with the way I was able to go toe-to-toe with her.

“I’m just really happy with how I’ve done here. It’s exceeded my expectations. I guess I can say I’m proud of myself.”

Williams struggled early on a steamy, windy day before reeling off the last six points of a tiebreaker against the 179th-ranked Marino.

“Seemed like every time I had an opening she would hit a big serve,” Williams said of the first set. “So I guess I know what it’s like now playing myself.

“I was very impressed. She’s got a good future ahead of her.”

Marino had a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker before Williams buckled down. The two-time U.S. Open champion responded with a cross-court backhand winner, followed by a forehand winner to get going and reach the third round.

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