2012 Sony Ericsson Open Results Day 7: Fatigued Venus Williams Pulls Out Three-Set Thriller

After nearly three hours of tennis, Venus Williams couldn't even hit a souvenir ball into the stands.

The American had played her second match in less than 48 hours in her first tournament since August 2011 when she withdrew.

The 30-year-old tennis star had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that caused fatigue and it was visible after Williams' three-set match on Sunday.

The wildcard American entry beat Canadian wildcard entry Aleksandra Wozniak 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Williams saved 56 percent of break points and Wozniak saved 53 percent, but when the score was 5-4 in her favor in the final set, she hit a forehand in the net on matchpoint.

Both players served five doubles. Wozniak hit three aces. Williams hit two -- one was on the final point of the match. A 119-miles per hour service winner. That's how the American closed her third WTA singles match of 2012.

From the AP:

"I just kept coming back," Williams said. "I tried not to let anything discourage me."

On the men's side, No. 2 seeded Rafael Nadal and No. 4 seeded Andy Murray both advanced. Nadal won in straight sets, losing only four games and Murray advanced after his opponent withdrew with a sprained right ankle.

The only upset of the day came for No. 7 seeded Tomas Berdych. He was ousted by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

The streak continued for women's No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka. She won her 25th straight match Sunday, dropping only two games in the process when she beat Heather Watson of Great Britain in one hour and 19 minutes.

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