Venus Williams kept her WTA Finals titles hopes and No. 1 chances alive Tuesday with an epic 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5 victory over French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko.
The 3-hour, 13-minute affair saw Venus, the lone former champion in the field, holding a match point in the second. But Venus broke at 5-all in the third then served it out for her second win of the year over the Latvian.
“A win is a win, that’s all I can say,” Venus said. “Maybe I got a little luck. Who knows? But I’m on to the next match now.”
The loss eliminates Ostapenko from the event.
“I was just a little bit tight in some moments,” Ostapenko said. “When I had to serve, I didn’t really serve.
“She was serving well. It was hard to break her, but I think I was returning pretty well today, better than serving. We had a very long match and some good rallies.”
Venus moves to 1-1 as she looks ahead to a Wimbledon rematch with Garbine Muguruza in the White Group.
Afterward, Pliskova cruised past Muguruza 6-2, 6-2 to give her the White Group No. 1 seed.
“I’m just happy that I don’t have to play the next match for qualifying, because last year I was playing for it and it was pretty stressful, I would say,” said Pliskova. “I’m always happy if I can win few matches in a row, it gives me always extra confidence.
“There is one more match to go in the group, which I want to try to enjoy, not to lose, but just to try to enjoy the tennis a little bit more.”
On Wednesday, Simona Halep meets Caroline Wozniacki for the lead in the Red Group while Elina Svitolina takes on Caroline Garcia in a virtual elimination match.
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