Stun­ning fight­back by Venus

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIAN WELLS: Venus Wil­liams saved three match points as she roared back for a 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 vic­tory over old foe Je­lena Jankovic on Satur­day and a place in the third round at In­dian Wells.

The seven-time Grand Slam cham­pion, her right arm ban­daged and her serve speed down, sur­ren­dered the first set in just 20 min­utes and was quickly down a break at 3-1 in the sec­ond.

“I def­i­nitely wasn’t able to do every­thing I wanted to,” she said. “Took me some time to kind of get my head around that.

“You have to get dis­ci­plined and just try to deal with what’s at hand and try to use the tools you have on this par­tic­u­lar day,” said Venus.

Venus next faces Czech Lucie Sa­farova, a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win­ner over Amer­i­can Coco Van­deweghe.

There was no such drama for sec­ond-seeded An­gelique Ker­ber, who raced into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 vic­tory over fel­low Ger­man An­drea Petkovic.

An­gelique, who is as­sured of reclaiming the num­ber one world rank­ing when the tour­na­ment ends thanks to Ser­ena Wil­liams’ in­jury with­drawal, re­versed a run of poor for­tune in the Cal­i­for­nia desert, where she hadn’t made it out of her tour­na­ment opener since 2011.

“Of course, it was not so easy to play against her, we know each other very long,” An­gelique said.

“I was try­ing to­day just to fo­cus more on my side of the ten­nis court. Just be­ing fo­cused on my game, be­cause I think the last three years I lose here in the first round, so that was also some­thing in my mind that I would like to change this year and just go through it.”

An­gelique next faces France’s Pauline Par­men­tier, who ousted 27th-seeded Yu­lia Putint­seva of Kaza­khstan 6-2, 6-3.

Fourth-seed Si­mona Halep of Ro­ma­nia cruised through her opener, down­ing Croa­t­ian wild card Donna Ve­kic 6-4, 6-1.

Sixth-seeded Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska beat Spain’s Sara Sor­ribes 6-3, 6-4 and ninth-seeded Amer­i­can Madi­son Keys made a suc­cess­ful re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion with a 6-1, 7-5 vic­tory over Colom­bian Mar­i­ana Duque. .

Venus Wil­liams

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