For all the talk of the French Open women’s draw being wide open, not much respect has been given to Venus Williams, who just keeps on winning at the ripe old age of 36. (She’ll be 37 in 15 days, for what it’s worth.)

True, Venus has never won Roland Garros, and she last reached the final way back in 2002. But the American, who made it to the Australian Open final in January and clearly has no plans of slowing down any time soon, is as good a pick as anyone right now.

On Friday, the seven-time Grand Slam champion defeated Belgian Elise Mertens—at 21, 15 years Venus’ junior—6-3, 6-1 to reach the fourth round in Paris.

Williams, in her 20th appearance at the French Open, needed just over an hour to beat the world No. 60. With the win, the living legend became the oldest woman in Open era history to get past the round of 32 at Roland Garros. She’ll play 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky on Sunday for a spot in the quarterfinals.


In other women’s action, 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic came from a set down to best American Shelby Rogers, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova rallied past Shuai Zhang and Sam Stosur ended qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ run.


On the men’s side, Milos Raonic advanced after Guillermo Garcia-Lopez retired, Pablo Carreno Busta upset 11th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets and Albert Ramos-Vinolas edged home favorite Lucas Pouille in five.

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