Down a set and a double break it did look like that would be that for Venus Williams in Indian Wells. The American who only returned to the desert following her hiatus in 2016 was up against Petra Kvitova who has been in good form this year but has only struggled in the finals.
Up a set and a break in round two you would fancy Petra to see it through but at the age of 38 the American has shown what she can still do as she continues that hunt for title 50 and what a story it would be if it happened here at Indian Wells.
With this one I think it is fair to say we have surprises on both sides of the court.
Compared to the beginning of last year Venus has slowed down a little but she is still proving she can do it and I think with what she has battled through her career it is commendable what she still puts out there.
Petra Kvitova on the other hand has some thinking to do.
I think to myself when I’m looking at success from January to now, how would I rate a players season out of 10 so far?
Some may think that is me being harsh and it may come across like that but I think of Petra being at the highest level but I don’t think she’s reached it.
Some may think I’m mad because she mad final here and there including Melbourne but that next step is missing.
I remember one year Wozniacki went on a run of losing finals and then won one, I agree to the extent it takes a lot to pick yourself up from defeats but at the same time when you are a ‘top player’ just making the finals isn’t enough.
This defeat to Venus will hurt Petra and it will be something that will need to be thought about going forward.
I know it won’t happen but if I were Petra I’d think about missing Miami completely and focusing on the clay court season.
I get the Indian Wells / Miami hype but I like to look at the bigger picture. I’m not saying that I don’t think Petra has a chance of winning in Miami but I do think thinking ahead to clay would be better.