American tennis talents Venus Williams and John Isner both opened their tournaments on Saturday at the 2017 WTA and ATP events in Indian Wells. Playing in the round of sixty-four, each player faced a tricky opponent. However, each was able to advance to the round of thirty-two following a pair of victories in front of their partisan American fans.

Williams beat Jankovic

Williams drew a former World No. 1 in Jelena Jankovic to open the tournament. The Serbian's best tennis has really evaded her for the last couple of seasons. However, as is the case with former highly-ranked players, she remains dangerous in whatever tournament she enters.

Jankovic did not have a bye in the first round, but rather she defeated Irina Falconi.

The Serbian certainly looked good for the upset over Williams in the early stages of the Saturday match as she stormed out to a 6-1 victory in the first set. The 2nd set was tight as it played to a tiebreaker that Williams only won by the minimum. The American then seized control in the final set for a 1-6, 7-6, 6-1 win. Venus' next match will now be against either Coco Vandeweghe or Lucie Safarova, a contest that promises to be difficult regardless of who she draws. With a draw to the semifinals that is shared with both Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska, two slumping players, Williams has a good chance to go deep in the tournament.

Isner survived to face Monfils

In the men's draw, John Isner enjoyed a straight-sets victory over veteran Mikhail Kukushkin. The match was competitive as both sets that were played went to tiebreakers. However, Isner won the big points at the end of each set for a 7-6, 7-6 victory. In the next round, Isner has a tough ask as he'll face Frenchman Gael Monfils for an opportunity to advance to the final sixteen at the first Masters Series 1000 event of 2017.

Further speculation on Isner's draw might prove pointless. Monfils is a significant threat to knock the American out of the tournament. However, if Isner finds a way passed Monfils, then he can hope to play Dominic Thiem. The Austrian has a recent title on tour, but Thiem is not as strong on the cement as he is on clay.

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