SONY ERICSSON OPEN 2012
Venus Upsets Kvitova
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Three-time Miami champion Venus Williams delivered an inspiring performance Friday evening at the Sony Ericsson Open, ousting No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 to reach the third round.
After splitting sets with Kvitova, Williams surged ahead in the final set, breaking the reigning Wimbledon titlist three times to improve her second-round record to 13-0 at the WTA Premier Mandatory event. The win marked the American wild card’s first victory over a Top 3 opponent since defeating third-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova at the 2009 WTA Championships.
"I know she's playing well and I know that I have fallen off the ranks and she's risen up the ranks since I have been injured," said Williams. "So in many ways we've changed places. It's definitely satisfying."
Williams is playing her first tour-level tournament in over six months, having been diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome at last year’s US Open. She has been receiving treatment for the autoimmune disease and eased into a comeback to action by partnering Liezel Huber to a doubles win with the United States Fed Cup team in February.
"I think if there's anyone on this tour besides me and maybe [Alisa] Kleybanova, we have the least amount to lose," Williams said. "Every shot is a victory and a blessing. So it's like I'm just going for it."
The 31 year old is looking to win her first title at Crandon Park in 11 years, when she edged Jennifer Capriati in a final set tie-break to take home the 2001 trophy. Williams will face Canadian wild card Aleksandra Wozniak for a place in the round of 16, after Wozniak battled past 28th seed Monica Niculescu 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
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