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Ana reached the third round of the China Open in Beijing with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over world No.20 Varvara Lepchenko. The 11th seed faced two match points and a 6-4, 5-3 deficit but found her form just in time to triumph in three sets, eventually winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
It was a suspect start from Ana, who really struggled with her rhythm early on. A first serve percentage of just 33 in the opening set was always going to put her under pressure, and the American took full advantage, breaking in the third game and producing solid tennis that saw her take the opening set.
Ana was unable to raise her level in the second set and a defeat looked almost inevitable following another early break, until she roused herself into full flight when facing two match points at 15-40 on her own serve in the ninth game of the second set.
Buoyed by her recovery, Ana appeared to play with far more confidence and fluidity. She broke the 26-year-old, held serve and then broke again to level the match.
When Ana moved 2-0 ahead in the third set she had won six games in a row. She was broken in the third game but it proved to be a mere blip, and she romped home at the end in two hours and nine minutes.
"Yikes, that was a close one!" wrote Ana on her Facebook page. "I was on my way home, but somehow I managed to do it. I didn't play well for at least half of the match but that was a fun comeback :)"
Ana will take on Swiss world No.69 Romina Oprandi in the third round.
Manuela Davies / doubleXposure.com