Serena reaches third round at Rome OpenMay 17th, 2012 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS
Rome, May 17 (IANS) American Serena Williams reached the third round of the Rome Open tennis after being pushed to dig deep to beat Russia’s Nadia Petrova.
Ninth-seeded Williams lost her last two meetings with Petrova, as well as two of their three previous clay court meetings, and an upset loomed as the big-serving Russian won the first set 6-4 and held triple break point at 1-all in the second set.
However, Williams came back swinging, saving five break points in that game and never looked in danger again, eventually winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“When I lost the first set, I just thought, ‘Stay in there and just don’t give up, you’ll have a chance’,” Williams was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “I just didn’t want to give up. I never do want to give up, nor have I ever wanted to give up.”
Williams is now 15-0 on clay this season, going 5-0 to win Charleston, 2-0 in Fed Cup play, 6-0 to win Madrid and 2-0 so far here. The last time anyone pulled off a perfect clay court season was Justine Henin’s 24-0 run in 2005.
“I love Europe and to be able to play the whole season here is really cool,” Williams said. “I’ve definitely developed a lot of confidence on clay. I like it a lot. Well, I’ve always liked it. It’s just that I haven’t won a lot of tournaments on it, but now I’m getting more wins and hope to change that going forward.”
The 13-time Grand Slam champion continued to describe her passion for the sport. “I am so inspired to be out there,” she said. “The only incentive I have is that I love tennis and I love playing. There are a lot of times in life you don’t get the chance to do what you do best, but this is definitely where I belong.”
Next up for Williams is Anabel Medina Garrigues. Curiously, the two veterans - Williams 30, Medina Garrigues 29 - will be playing against each other for the first time.
Venus Williams also moved through to the third round, battling back from 3-5 down and needing six set points to close out the first set but then rolling past Ekaterina Makarova for a 7-6(7), 6-1 victory.
Next up for Williams is No.5 seed Samantha Stosur. Williams leads the overall head-to-head 4-1 but Stosur won their only 2012 meeting.
In the night match, No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka beat Shahar Peer 6-1, 6-2, never facing a break point and winning nearly twice as many points in the match (57 to 29).
Azarenka withdrew from the tournament afterwards with a shoulder injury.
- US Open: Azarenka overcomes Stosur to reach semis (Lead) - Sep 05, 2012
- US Open: Azarenka, Williams showdown for women's title - Sep 08, 2012
- US Open: Stosur wins marathon battle against Petrova, Sharapova ousted - Sep 03, 2011
- Li Na, Stosur ease into US Open second round - Aug 28, 2012
- Olympic tennis: Federer plays Murray in repeat of Wimbledon final (Lead) - Aug 04, 2012
- US Open: Sharapova to face Azarenka in semis (Lead) - Sep 06, 2012
- Serena Williams wins women's singles at US Open - Sep 10, 2012
- Stosur sinks Serena, enters French Open semi-final - Jun 02, 2010
- US Open: Wozniacki-Serena semifinal, Zvonareva falls - Sep 09, 2011
- US Open: Azarenka, Stosur to meet in quarters - Sep 03, 2012
- French Open: World No.1 Azarenka crashes out - Jun 03, 2012
- US Open: Rain postpones most matches - Sep 05, 2012
- Azarenka destroys Sharapova to win Australian Open - Jan 28, 2012
- Azarenka dumps Li Na out of Madrid Open - May 11, 2012
- Azarenka digs deep to beat Begu at Olympics - Jul 30, 2012
Tags: anabel medina garrigues, break point, break points, clay court, confidence, court meetings, europe, fed cup, game, grand slam champion, justine henin, last time, madrid, open tennis, passion, rome, russia, serena williams, venus williams, xinhua