MIAMI, FL, USA - It may not have been as big a deficit as Serena Williams faced earlier in the day but it was quite the deficit in its own right - Roberta Vinci rallied from 3-0 down in the third set to beat Alizé Cornet on Monday and make the quarterfinals of the prestigious Sony Open Tennis in Miami.
After dropping the first set in 32 minutes, 6-2, the No.15-seeded Vinci started settling into the match, her big forehand and deep slice backhands beginning to find their range as she took the next set, 6-4. Cornet came out firing in the third, however, building the aforementioned 3-0 lead on the strength of two breaks - but Vinci wasn't done, coming back to conquer the No.32 seed in the end, 26 64 64.
Next up for Vinci will be No.22 seed Jelena Jankovic, who blazed through the first set of her match but then had to grind out a 61-minute second set to edge No.28 seed Sorana Cirstea, 60 64. Cirstea actually led 3-1 in the second set with points for 4-1 before Jankovic regained the momentum.
"I'm very happy to be in the quarterfinals here at the Sony Open Tennis again," Jankovic said after the match. "It was a great win for me today - I thought I played quite well, especially in the first set. I think Sorana played really well too, but I was just able to return her shots and take control from there.
"I struggled a little bit during the second set with my serve, but I'm very happy I managed to get through this match. I'm really happy with the way I played overall and of course for the win today."
Jankovic and Cirstea didn't take the court until the evening due to some long matches before them.
"It's never easy to wait around a long time and sit at the site for hours and hours," Jankovic said. "But as soon as I got on court tonight I was able to focus from the first point and play my game."
Jankovic is through to her first Premier-level quarterfinal since Carlsbad last July, and her first Premier Mandatory-level quarterfinal since right here at the Sony Open Tennis two years ago in 2011.
Jankovic leads Vinci in their head-to-head series, 3-2, though Vinci has won their last two meetings - in the final of Dallas last summer and a marathon in the second round of Sydney earlier this year.
"I lost to her the last two times we've played, the last one was a tight three set match," Jankovic said of the head-to-head. "Hopefully I can play a little differently and play well, and we'll see how it goes.
"It's definitely going to be a tough match."