In her first tournament since she withdrew from the US Open after being diagnosed with Sjogrenâ€™sÂ Syndrome, wildcard Venus Williams battled past No. 3 Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday night.
â€œA tough match,â€ said Williams. â€œGoing into it, I know she’s playing well.Â I wanted to stay focused on my game.
â€œI was just trying to stay tough and make the point.Â That’s the best I could do.
â€œSo it was definitely gratifying.Â I know she’s playing well and I know, you know, that I have fallen off the ranks and she’s risen up the ranks since I have been injured.
â€œSo in many ways we’ve changed places.Â It’s definitely satisfying.â€
Currently at No. 134 in the world, Williams is looking to improve her ranking and her between matches recovery due to her auto-immune disease.
â€œDefinitely to win these matches definitely a lot of it’s mental to get out there and believe you’re gonna win and execute.
â€œI have definitely come a long way physically.Â I think I know a lot better how to recover.Â My recovery is definitely similar toÂ before.Â I definitely have to cut out a lot of extracurricular actives.Â I’m not gonna to be the one having fun dinners.Â I am gonna be the one stuck in the room.
â€œThe price to pay is definitely worth it.
â€œI mean, I’ve got nothing to lose.Â Like literally I have nothing to lose.
â€œSo I think if there’s anyone on this tour besides me and maybe Kleybanova, we have the least amount to lose than anyone on tour.Â Everything, every shot is a victory and a blessing.
â€œSo it’s like I’m just, you know, going for it.â€
Kvitova discussed the match with media: â€œThat first round, Venus, wasn’t really easy.Â I mean, she played very well after a long time.
â€œShe looks very ready, very fit.”
The match marked Venus Williams 600th win on the WTA tour. She is the 14th woman to accomplish this feat. She has a 600-147 career record.
Williams will face Canadaâ€™s Aleksandra Wozniack next.