Serena Williams is two-for-two in her comeback after a four-month injury layoff, beating Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) on Tuesday at the Hobart International.
Playing just 18 hours after her first-round, straight-sets win over Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden on Monday night, Williams took advantage of Safarova's poor serving. The Czech player double-faulted on her first serve in the third-set tiebreaker, then again to set up match point.
Williams, recovering from ankle and knee injuries, has not played a tournament since the U.S. Open in early September. She fell behind 4-1 in the second set before holding a break point to level at 4-4, but Safarova held on to take the set. Williams had her service broken in the opening game of the deciding set before pulling back even at 3-3 on the way to the deciding tiebreaker.
In other second-round play Tuesday, two seeded players lost in the 32-women tournament that is being used as a warmup for the Australian Open that begins next Monday in Melbourne. Sybille Bammer of Austria, who will play Williams in the quarterfinals, beat second-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4, 6-3 and Catalina Castano of Colombia defeated fifth-seeded Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-3, 6-2.
Seventh-seeded Zheng Jie of China beat Severine Bremond of France 6-1, 6-3.
In a first-round match, Olga Poutchkova of Russia defeated Tzipora Obziler of Israel 0-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Poutchkova played top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze of Russia later Tuesday.