Kirsten Flipkens through at BNP Paribas Open

Kirsten Flipkens celebrates
Kirsten Flipkens celebrates

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens battled past Eugenie Bouchard to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

The Belgian advanced after a three-set thriller lasting more than two-and-a-half hours.

Flipkens had to use all her might to grab the opener after Bouchard drew level twice, with the American breaking Flipkens twice in the second and setting up the decider that lasted more than an hour.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Flipkens displayed a mental toughness when Bouchard grabbed a break, going on to win the last two games and clinching the victory 7-5 3-6 7-5.

She will now face 25th seed Danielle Collins.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams moved past Andrea Petkovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 to set up a second-round match against world number three Petra Kvitova.

After a dominant second set by Petkovic, Williams quickly turned things around at the start of the third, breaking Petovic in the first game and racing to a 4-1 lead.

Williams stumbled at 5-2, missing the opportunity to take the match, but broke straight back to wrap up the win in one hour and 46 minutes.

Monica Puig, Madison Brengle and Kristina Mladenovic also advanced to the next round.

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