No. 12 seed Venus Williams advanced to the third round of the 2017 BNP Paribas Open after saving three match points against 2010 champion Jelena Jankovic on Saturday.
Jankovic continually pounced on the Williams second serve, and looked on course for a breezy trip into final 32 with a 4-1 lead in the second set. But Williams surged back, saved three match points en route to forcing a second-set tiebreak, in turn flipping the script in the third set for the 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 victory.
"It aint' over until it's over," said Williams on court after the match. "I didnt see no fat lady singing."
Watch Williams Post-Match Interview
This marked the pair's 14th meeting, 10 of which have now gone the distance. "Jelena and I have had so many epic matches," said Williams. The two are now at seven wins apiece in their head-to-head.
Lucie Safarova will face Venus Williams next after fighting back to beat CoCo Vandeweghe 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the last match of the day. Safarova trails her head-to-head with Williams 2-4, but the Czech has won their past two meetings.
Watch V. Williams-Jankovic Highlights
World No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska booked a third-round meeting with Peng Shuai after a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo. The 2014 finalist (l. to Pennetta) next plays China’s Peng Shuai, who upset No. 31 seed Ana Konjuh 6-4, 6-2.
No. 16 seed Sam Stosur bowed out to Germany’s Julia Goerges, while No. 28 Kristina Mladenovic dismissed Germany’s Annika Beck and will play 2015 champion Simona Halep, who swept past Croatian wildcard Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1.
Watch Halep-Vekic Highlights