Stunning fightback by Venus
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. .