Alizé Cornet pulled off a miracle comeback against Ana Ivanovic - how many match points did she save? Jelena Jankovic wrapped up the first round at night against a newly-returned Sabine Lisicki.
WTA Staff

CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Alizé Cornet pulled off a miracle comeback against Ana Ivanovic in the first round of the Western & Southern Open, staving off five match points to beat the former World No.1.

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Cornet not only battled back from 62 52 down to push the second set to a tie-break, she also saved five match points in that tie-break - three from 6-3 down, then another two at 7-6 and 8-7 down - and she even rallied from 2-0 down in the third set to scrape past the No.15-seeded Ivanovic, 26 76(8) 64.

It wasn't an easy ending for Cornet herself though - serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, she missed out on her first five match points - but she closed out the nail-biter on match point No.6.

Cornet has had somewhat of a revival over the last few weeks. In the two-and-a-half-year span between January 2011 and July 2013, she went 0-26 against Top 30 players - a difficult stat given she is a former World No.11. But since starting her summer hardcourt season in Washington DC two weeks ago she has gone 4-1 against Top 30 players, scoring wins over a No.28-ranked Sorana Cirstea, a No.22-ranked Elena Vesnina, a No.16-ranked Maria Kirilenko and now World No.14 Ivanovic.

Alizé Cornet

Alizé Cornet

In other first round matches later in the day, No.10 seed Caroline Wozniacki cruised past Peng Shuai, 61 61; No.13 seed Kirsten Flipkens won the first set but ended up falling to Vesnina, 36 61 63; No.14 seed Jelena Jankovic won a very tight three-setter against Sabine Lisicki, 76(5) 57 62; and Monica Niculescu, who got in as a lucky loser after Cirstea withdrew, outdid Yanina Wickmayer, 61 62.

Cirstea, who was coming off the biggest week of her career - reaching her first Premier-level final in Toronto, taking out three Top 10 players en route - had to withdraw with a left abdominal strain.

Jankovic's win over Lisicki could have been over a lot sooner, as the Serb served for the match at a set and 5-4, even going up 30-0 in that game. But Lisicki pushed it to a third before finally falling.

Lisicki was playing her first tournament since reaching the Wimbledon final, where she fell to Marion Bartoli. She was the first German to reach a Grand Slam final since Steffi Graf achieved the feat at Wimbledon 14 years ago in 1999. Lisicki hadn't played since Wimbledon due to a right wrist injury.