Sports

Struggling with the wind, Serena Williams needs 3 sets to beat Errani and give US 2-1 lead

  • Serena Williams of the United States reacts during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match against Italy's Sara Errani, in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')

    Serena Williams of the United States reacts during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match against Italy's Sara Errani, in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')  (The Associated Press)

  • Serena Williams of United States reacts during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match against Italy's Sara Errani, in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')

    Serena Williams of United States reacts during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match against Italy's Sara Errani, in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')  (The Associated Press)

  • Serena Williams of United States returns the ball to Italy's Sara Errani during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')

    Serena Williams of United States returns the ball to Italy's Sara Errani during a Fed Cup World Group playoff tennis match in Brindisi, Italy, Sunday, April 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Felice Calabro')  (The Associated Press)

Top-ranked Serena Williams had to fight back from a set down and figure out how to deal with strong winds before overcoming Italy's Sara Errani 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in a Fed Cup playoff Sunday, giving the United States a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

While Williams held a massive 70-7 lead in winners, she committed nearly three times as many unforced errors as the 15th-ranked Errani.

At the very end, Williams struggled to dictate play against an opponent who had never before presented her with serious problems.

Still, Williams improved to 20-0 this year and 16-0 in Fed Cup for her career.

Next up, Brindisi-born Flavia Pennetta was facing 65th-ranked Christina McHale, followed by a potentially decisive doubles match.