World number one Serena Williams played three sets to win her second match since coming out of long injury absence, but as always the American was able to step up when needed and defeated unseeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-2 3-6 6-0 in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
The top-seeded Williams won the first set with a five-game streak, but quickly found herself trailing the 49th-ranked Petkovic 4-1 in the second set, before losing it 6-3. In the decider Williams regained her concentration and wrapped up the set to love.
Serena’s older sister Venus Williams, seeded fourth, played next and recorded a 6-3 6-4 victory over Shahar Peer of Israel in the third round, so the Williamses are now on course to meet in the semifinals.
Serena’s opponent in the quarters will be Maria Kirilenko, who followed up her upset of fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova with a 4-6 6-1 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova. Venus’ next opponent will be seventh seed Jelena Jankovic, who showed good form in the 6-2 6-0 defeat of No.11 seed Yanina Wickmayer in the third round. (photo: Emmett Anderson)