Venus rallies to make Miami last 16

Venus Williams needed all her powers of recovery to squeeze past Kiki Bertens at the Miami Open on Sunday after a roller coaster of a match.

Three-time champion Williams blew an early lead, fell behind in the decider and then managed to save three match points as she eventually beat Bertens 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in their third round match.

Williams raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set before her Dutch opponent reeled off seven straight games to claim the first set.

Then after levelling the match with the second set, Williams the elder found herself 5-3 down in the decider.

Four games and three match points later she found herself in the last 16 after almost three hours on court.

“It didn’t look good sometimes,” Williams said in her post-match interview. “But that’s why you keep playing until the last point. And that’s why I love this game.”

The 37-year-old Williams plays defending champion Johanna Konta in the next round after the 11th seed Konta saw off Belgium’s Elise Mertens (22) 6-2, 6-1.

In other play, fourth seed Elina Svitolina overcame a sluggish start to defeat Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 6-4, 0-6, 1-6 while Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 7-6(7-2), 6-2.

Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig of Puerto RIco also made it through after overcoming Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 7-5. She will face Danielle Collins after she defeated Croatia’s Donna Vekic 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.