Venus Williams of the United States celebrates after match point against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands (not pictured) on day six of the Miami Open at Tennis Center at Crandon Park. "We were in a battle but I'm happy to be coming back tomorrow".
"The first set was definitely all her, and she came up with some awesome shots to break me at 5-5.There was not much I could do there, except just hope I could keep up in the second and third sets", the WTA quoted Venus, as saying.
Once again, the 37-year-old found her composure at the start of the second, breaking for a 2-0 lead. The world No.8, however, double-faulted to give Bertens a second chance. Venus played a delightful dropshot to move 5-3 ahead before holding to force a decider An icon of resilience, Venus had to fight before winning the 170th third set in a WTA main draw match.
The American's confidence looked to ebb away as she punctuated the fourth game with a horrendous volley error.
Williams, ranked eighth in the world, laboured almost three hours to beat 29th-ranked Bertens 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Venus survives marathon battle against Bertens in Miami
Against a beaten opponent, Venus drilled the last massive serve and used a deep forehand to seal the game and dance in exhultation.
The Briton hit three aces in a row to save a break point in the third set, but Williams continued her dominant comeback to serve for the match.
Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova advanced as Zarina Diyas retired when 6-2 2-1 down and she will take on three-time champion Victoria Azarenka, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2, with Elina Svitolina also booking her spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-5 6-4 win over Ash Barty.
"It didn't look good sometimes, that's why you keep playing until the last point", said Williams, who lifted the trophy in Miami in 1998, 1999 and 2001.
Konta delivered 23 winners and had 17 unforced errors, while Mertens, a 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist, was slowed by 26 unforced errors and had only 11 winners. But she lost only another game to claim the second consecutive victory against a Belgian opponent.
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