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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lucie Safarova, Cincinnati 2014

Lucie Safarova converted on her fourth match point to down Venus Williams, 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 in Cincinnati.

Photo Source: Christopher Levy

Barely 48 hours removed from her Rogers Cup final in Montreal, Venus Williams was knocked out in three sets by the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova on Tuesday, 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4.

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Safarova dropped the first set in a tiebreaker but managed to save four of four break points in the second set to force a decider.

In the third set, the 16th seed jumped out to a 5-1 lead before letting Williams creep back into the match. She failed to convert on her first three match points but managed to close it out on serve to notch her first career win in five career matches against the seven-time Grand Slam champion.

“Very special,” Safarova said. “To play her first round—to play her any match—it’s really tough. I had to play aggressive but also under control.”

Williams, just like in her loss to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Rogers Cup final, was done in by a high unforced error to winner count. The 34-year-old struck only 18 winners against 41 unforced errors to lose her second consecutive match.

According to SI’s Courtney Nguyen, Williams wasn’t all that thrilled about having the 11 A.M. start time on Tuesday, but nonetheless she gave full credit to Safarova.


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