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Serena beats Li for seventh Miami crown

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Serena WilliamsSony

Reuters.

Serena Williams (right) holds the championship trophy as Li Na (left) holds the runner-up trophy after the final of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Williams won 7-5, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Miami - World number one Serena Williams won the Miami WTA title for the seventh time Saturday with a 7-5, 6-1 win over China's Li Na.

In a battle of the world's top two players, the US superstar took her tally of WTA titles to 59 - including 17 Grand Slam triumphs.

She added a second trophy in 2014 to the one she lifted in Brisbane in January.

The 32-year-old Williams, who first played at Miami as a 16-year-old, was strangely subdued as she seemed to sleepwalk through the first half hour of the match.

Trailing 4-2, she fought off three break points in the seventh game only to surrender her serve for a second time on a double fault.

The seriousness of her situation woke Williams up.

She won the next five games to take the set, saving a set point in the 10th game and hanging on to break Li in a 12th game that went to deuce six times.

Although she delivered only three aces in a match that lasted just under two hours, Williams' serve steadily improved as the match wore on, as did the power and precision of her returns.

She seized a 5-1 lead in the second set with a fierce backhand winner on her fifth break point of the game and wrapped up the contest on her first match point.

Although the match turned so dramatically, with Williams winning 11 of the last 12 games, Li had little to reproach herself for as she continued to battle even as Williams inexorably pulled away.

“I don't think I was playing bad,” Li said.

“Maybe she just started playing a little bit better after 5-2 down.

“I think it was a pretty good match. At least I tried so many things, like coming to the net, return volleys.

“At 5-2 up or after 5-all, I think I did exactly the same, so really there's nothing to say because I tried the best I can do for today.”

Li, who won her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, has now lost 10 straight matches against Williams.

Her only victory in their 12 meetings was back in 2008. - Sapa-AFP


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