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Venus overcomes illness to advance at Indian Wells

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Venus overcomes illness to advance at Indian Wells
Mar 7, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Venus Williams (USA) during her first round match against Andrea Petkovic (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports   -   Copyright  Jayne Kamin-Oncea(Reuters)
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INDIANWELLS, Calif. (Reuters) – Venus Williams played through illness to win a seesaw opening round match against German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Williams, who said she was not feeling 100 percent, saved her best tennis for the biggest moments, breaking Petkovic for a sixth time in the final game to make up for a dismal second set.

Asked in an on-court interview to describe the encounter, the 38-year-old former world number one was almost at a loss for words.

“I don’t know honestly. I’m still trying to figure it out,” she said to laughs from the crowd on a sunny and windy day in the California desert.

“Every day is not your best day but that doesn’t mean the heart and desire aren’t there.”

The win sets up a mouthwatering second-round clash with third seed Petra Kvitova, who holds a 4-2 edge in their previous meetings.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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