Venus overcomes illness to advance at Indian Wells

Venus Williams (USA) during her first round match against Andrea Petkovic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Venus Williams played through illness to win a seesaw opening round match against German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open yesterday.

Williams, who said she was not feeling 100 per cent, saved her best tennis for the biggest moments, breaking Petkovic for a sixth time in the final game to make up for a dismal second set.

Asked in an on-court interview to describe the encounter, the 38-year-old former world number one was almost at a loss for words.

“I don’t know honestly. I’m still trying to figure it out,” she said to laughs from the crowd on a sunny and windy day in the California desert.

“Every day is not your best day but that doesn’t mean the heart and desire aren’t there.”

The win sets up a mouthwatering second-round clash with third seed Petra Kvitova, who holds a 4-2 edge in their previous meetings.

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