(March 28, 2015) Seven-time champion Serena Williams extended her winning streak at the Miami Open to 13 after winning her opening match over Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-1.
The two-time defending champion and world No. 1 just last weekend withdrew before her semifinal match at Indian Wells with a right knee injury. The 19-time major champ did not appear to be hindered by her injury.
“It was a little sore in practice, but it was OK today,” she said in regard to her knee.
Williams just defeated the Romanian two weeks ago at Indian Wells.
“It was definitely easier today,” Serena Williams said of playing her slicing and dicing opponent. “I knew what to expect. I still got a little frustrated, but overall was able to stay calm more than the last time I played her.”
No. 1 Williams, who is on a 16-match winning streak will take on 15-year-old Cici Bellis in the third round on Sunday.
Serena’s sister Venus was also a winner on Saturday.
Venus Williams served for the match three times in the second set before closing out Sam Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (3).
“I think I served for it a few times, but the second set didn’t go exactly as I wanted,” Venus said. “But I put myself in a good position, and that was good.
“It was so interesting, because once I got to the tiebreaker, that’s when I really started to feel a lot more rhythm in my game. I think she did, too.
“So I think just playing extra games actually helped me. I think I’m going to be feeling a lot better once my next rounds come around.”
Serena told media that she and her sister plan on playing Fed Cup next month when the United States travels to Brindisi to take on Italy in the World Group Playoffs in an attempt to try move back into World Group in 2016.
“We deserve to be back in,” Serena said. “We have some of the best players in the world. We should be in the World Group A and competing for the title.”
Venus Williams will tackle No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki, in the fourth round, Wozniacki came back to stop Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
“We played a really competitive match early this year,” Venus said. “I can’t remember the score in the last set, but it was tough. I was just so happy to win that match, so I’m going to try to learn from that.
“I would love to win that match in two sets, but it’s going to take some work.”
The upset of the day on the women’s side came when German qualifier Tatjana Maria, ranked 113, stunned Wimbledon finalist No. 6 Eugenie Bouchard 6-0, 7-6 (4).
For the German, it was her second victory over a top ten player. Her first came against Li Na in 2010.