AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) Venus Williams fell short in her attempt to capture her first title in more than a year, losing to Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the final of the ASB Classic on Saturday.
Second-seeded Ivanovic looked headed for a routine victory in the matchup between former world No. 1s, winning the first set in 35 minutes and holding match point at 5-3 in the second. But Williams fought back to break Ivanovic twice to capture the second set and force a decider.
Williams was playing in her first final since winning the title at Luxembourg in October 2012. The seven-time Grand Slam champion's ranking has fallen to 47th as she has battled injuries and Sjogren's syndrome, a fatigue-causing autoimmune disease, over the past two years.