Serena made to work for win on WTA return Aug 12, 2020 0 653 12345 AFPLos AngelesA rusty Serena Williams made a winning return from her six-month coronavirus hiatus on Tuesday, defeating lowly ranked Bernarda Pera in three sets to advance to the second round of the WTA Top Seed Open tournament in Kentucky.Williams, who before Tuesday had not played a competitive game since a Fed Cup appearance in February, was forced to come from behind to defeat world number 60 Pera 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Lexington.“I haven’t played in so long,” Williams said afterwards. “It was good for me play three sets and win a match in three sets.”The 38-year-old former world number one looked to be flirting with an early exit in the second set, but recovered from 0-40 down at 4-4 before holding and eventually winning the set to level.“I wasn’t getting a good rhythm, and I just said ‘Serena, play like you’ve been practicing’,” Williams said. “I knew I could play a little bit better if I just hung in there.”Williams will now play either sister Venus or Victoria Azarenka, who were to face each other later Tuesday.Pera had seized an early advantage in the first set, breaking Williams to take a 3-2 lead before holding for the remainder of the set to win 6-4.Williams was soon in trouble on her service game in the second set, falling 0-40 in the opening game before battling back to hold.Williams moved into a 3-1 lead with a break of Pera’s serve in the fourth game, but her Croatia-born opponent hit back immediately with a break of her own before holding to level at 3-3.With the next two games going to serve, Williams looked to be in trouble after falling 0-40 down in the ninth game. But she dug deep to hold for a 5-4 lead and then broke for the set when Pera sent a forehand return wide.The momentum spilled into the deciding set, and another misdirected forehand from Pera handed Williams a break to move into a 3-1 lead. Another break took her into a 5-1 lead and she closed out the win by holding to love, wrapping up victory with a cross-court forehand that left Pera stranded.This week’s WTA tournament is the first to be staged in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the tennis season earlier this year. Pages 1234 RELATED ARTICLES Konta suffers heart scare in Lexington exit Aug 12, 2020 0 637 Halep grinds out win on return to court in Prague Aug 12, 2020 0 610 Sifan set to attack one-hour world record in Brussels Aug 12, 2020 0 615 Selby ends Australian Robertson’s world championship hopes AFP London Three-time world snooker champion Mark Selby ended Australian Neil Robertson’s hopes of a second world crown with a gritty 13 frames to 7 victory in their quarter-final at the Crucible Theatre on Tuesday. .. Injured cyclist Jakobsen cleared to return home AFP Paris Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen, who was placed in a medically-induced coma last week after a horrifying crash at the Tour of Poland, has been cleared to return to the Netherlands, his team said on Tuesday. The .. Broad fined by father Chris over send-off of Yasir London: England paceman Stuart Broad has been sanctioned by his father Chris, a match referee, for a breach of the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct during the first Test against Pakistan. Broad was fined .. Sri Lanka postpones cricket league over quarantine rules Colombo: Sri Lanka’s cricket board on Tuesday postponed by three months the new premier league tournament as health authorities insisted on a two-week quarantine for foreign players. Sri Lanka Cricket had announced .. NZC confirms upcoming tours WellingtoncTypeface:> New Zealand Cricket said on Tuesday that Pakistan, Australia, Bangladesh and the West Indies had all confirmed they will tour during the upcoming home season, despite the coronavirus pandemic. ..