Top seed Serena Williams avoided an early exit at the Medibank International Sydney, fighting off four match points against Australia’s Samantha Stosur in the first round.
Stosur was serving for victory at 5-4 in the third set, and even earned a 40-0 lead. However, the American leveled, then held her own serve, and then broke Stosur’s serve in the following game to win the match 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.
Williams will next play either Italian Sara Errani or another home favorite Casey Dellacqua.
Fifth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia also survived a scare on the first day of the Sydney International, coming from a set down to defeat Peng Shuai 3-6 6-1 6-3.