SONY OPEN TENNIS
Serena Survives Scare; Faces Li In QFs
Five-time champion Serena Williams rallied from a 2-6, 1-4 deficit to overcome 13th-seeded Dominka Cibulkova 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the fourth round of the Sony Open Tennis on Monday afternoon in Miami.
For the second straight year at Crandon Park, Cibulkova had the WTA’s top-ranked player on the ropes, having led Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 5-2 with the match on her racquet in 2012. But once again, the Slovakian couldn’t shut the door and Williams capitalized on her window of opportunity to seize the momentum. The 31-year-old American closed out the comeback win in just under two hours by hitting her 14th ace. She finished with 42 winners to 52 unforced errors.
“This particular time I just thought to myself, ‘Well, I've been down worse.’ It's nothing new. Just keep fighting,” said Williams. “I never give up. It doesn't matter whether it's in life or on the tennis court, I keep fighting. That's what I kept doing today… I also was playing a really good opponent who plays really well. She's a good fighter and she's a great player.”
Williams is bidding to become the first woman to lift six trophies in Miami. The Palm Beach Gardens resident shares the record with Steffi Graf. In the quarterfinals, Williams will clash with No. 5 seed Na Li, who eased past wild card Garbine Muguruza 7-6(6), 6-2.
Despite relinquishing a 5-2 lead in the first set and then a 6-1 advantage in the ensuing tie-break, Li held off the Spaniard and then put her foot down in the second set, converting both of her break point opportunities to advance in one hour and 41 minutes. The former Roland Garros champion improved to 2-0 against Muguruza.
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