(March 11, 2017) In a battle between two former No. 1 players, Venus Williams rallied from 6-1, 4-1 down, saving three match points in the second set to beat Jelena Jankovic 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 at the BNP Paribas Open at India Wells on Saturday to reach the third round.
The seven-time major winner and 12th seed said after the match: “It aint’ over until it’s over, I didn’t see no fat lady singing.”
No. 9 seed Madison Keys won her first match back from left wrist surgery which had her off the tour since October, when she bested Mariana Duque-Marino 6-1, 7-5. Other seeds reaching the third round included No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber, fourth seed Simona Halep, 6th seed Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 28th seed Kristina Mladenovic.
Caroline Wozniacki, who also reached the third round was asked about Maria Sharapova’s return to the tour in April after a 15th month ban for doping. Sharapova will be making her return in Stuttgart as a wildcard on Wednesday of the tournament, April 26th, when her suspension ends.
“I think obviously, she’s a good draw to tennis, women’s tennis in general,” Wozniacki said in her news conference.
“But, two, I think it’s very questionable allowing – no matter who it is – a player that is still banned to play a tournament that week. I think, from the tournament side, it’s disrespectful to the other players and the WTA.
“It is what it is. Obviously, rules are twisted and turned in favor of who wants to do what.
“I think everyone deserves a second chance and I think that she’s going to come back and she’s going to fight her way back. I’m sure she’s going to play well.
“But at the same time, I feel like when a player is banned for drugs, I think that someone should start from the bottom and fight their way back because it’s different from an injury or where someone is out because they had hurt themselves. That way, I feel like a player should be able to receive as many wildcards.
“But when someone has been banned for drugs and something that is performance-enhancing, I think you deserve a second chance like everyone else, people make mistakes, but I think you should fight your back from the bottom.”
Seeds falling on the women’s side of the draw on Saturday included (16) Samantha Stosur, (23) Carla Suarez Navarro, (27) Yulia Putintseva, (30) Shuai Zhang, and (31) Ana Konjuh.