Stunning comeback earns Venus Williams third round spot at BNP Paribas Open

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Venus Williams booked her place in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open with a stunning comeback victory over Petra Kvitova.

The seven-time major champion upset the third seed and Australian Open runner-up, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The American dug in during the second set, fighting back from 3-0 down to force the decider, and again came from behind in the third set to clinch victory after nearly two-and-a-half hours on court.

Top seed Naomi Osaka began her title defence with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kristina Mladenovic, who just two weeks ago upset the world number one in the Dubai Open.

Karolina Pliskova booked her place in the third round after a hard-fought win over qualifier Misaki Doi.

The number five seed dropped the first set in a tie-break but made light work of the remainder of the match, prevailing 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1.

She will now face Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure, who beat number 28 seed Donna Vekic 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Aryna Sabalenka, meanwhile, needed three sets to overcome world number 44 Ajla Tomljanovic. The ninth seed rallied from a second-set loss to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in an hour and 41 minutes.

Angelique Kerber kicked off her campaign with a comfortable 6-0, 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva.

The eighth seed won the first 10 games and dropped just two games over the course of the 64-minute match to set up a third-round meeting with Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

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Watch: Novak Djokovic opens pursuit of record sixth title at BNP Paribas Open

Sport360 staff 10/03/2019
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Novak Djokovic beat Bjorn Fratangelo 7-6 (5), 6-2 to open his pursuit of a record sixth title at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

It was Djokovic’s 50th match win at the desert tournament, his highest total at any ATP Masters 1000 event.

The world’s top-ranked player needed one-and-a-half hours to beat the American and improve to 11-1 on the season. Afterward, Djokovic went over to greet former No1 Pete Sampras, who sat courtside.







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Video: Angelique Kerber eases into second round at Indian Wells

Sport360 staff 10/03/2019
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Angelique Kerber eased past her Kazakh opponent Yulia Putintseva 6-0, 6-2 in the second round of Indian Wells on Saturday.

The German and her opponent met on Saturday for the first time in nine years since Putintseva’s WTA main draw debut in Luxembourg.

It took the three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber an hour and four minutes to book her place against Russian qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Vikhlyantseva had earlier beat number 26 seed Carla Suarez Navarro with the same scoreline.








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