Quite close to losing in the US Open's first round for the first time, Williams came all the way back from a set and a break down to beat 47th-ranked Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 tonight. The No. 3-seeded Williams, twice the champion at Flushing Meadows, had her balky left knee bandaged by a trainer after the third game. The American also had plenty of trouble serving: She piled up 10 double-faults and was called for seven foot-faults.
Asked during a postmatch interview on court what it's going to take for her knee to be better for the second round, Williams said: "A lot of prayer. It's going to be a lot of prayer. Everything I can throw at it. But, you know, I'm tough."