Three-time champion Venus Williams stayed alive in Miami after saving three match points in a topsy-turvy victory over Kiki Bertens 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Bertens held two match points serving 5-3 in the third, but failed to convert either and succumbed to the American losing the last four games.
“It was a very interesting match, to say the least,” said Williams who led 5-0 in the first.
“I just tried to hang in there; it was really not that much fun for that to happen,” Williams said. “But that’s tennis.”
Venus won the Miami title in 1998, 1999 and in 2001. Up next for Venus tomorrow is defending champion Johanna Konta who figures to be the much fresher of the two after stomping on Australian Open semifinalist Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1. Konta beat Venus a year ago in the semifinals of Miami, but lost to her twice after.
“The last few times I’ve played, she’s played very well, and I haven’t beaten her,” said Konta of Venus. “I think it will be a great opportunity for me to play someone like her, to play such a great champion and a great player. I always look forward to playing her.”
Elina Svitolina came from a set down and cruised passed Daria Gavrilova 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. The Ukraine will now meet Ash Barty.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and Petra Kvitova set up a tasty fourth round showdown tomorrow. Ostapenko won in straights over Beatrice Hadad Maia while Kvitova took three sets to dispatch American qualifier Sofia Kenin.
Also tomorrow, the last two Grand Slam winners of 2017 meet as Sloane Stephens battles Garbine Muguruza. Surprising American Danielle Collins continued her strong run, she’ll face Monica Puig.
And comeback girl Victoria Azarenka collides with Agnieszka Radwanska in a matchup of former Miami champions. The Belarussian leads 12-5 but Radwanska won the last two, both back in 2014.
“It’s been a while since we’ve played, I actually don’t remember the last time we played,” said Azarenka who has won her last nine match in Miami. “It feels forever ago. She’s a very good player, she’s a very tricky opponent, she reads the game really well. I need to be aggressive, I need to dictate, because she gets a lot of balls back, and she’s very good on the counter-attack.”
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