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Tennis | WTA

Serena Williams © Gallo Images

Serena, Li progress in Miami

World No 1 Serena Williams was rolling on Saturday, even before she got to her third-round match against Ayumi Morita at the Miami ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament.

The American, seeking a record sixth Miami WTA crown, resorted to some unfamiliar transportation – a bicycle – to beat the traffic into Key Biscayne and make her match.

"The traffic was crazy and everyone was like, I have been here for an hour and I'm staying like eight minutes away," Williams said. "They were in the traffic for an hour. I'm like, 'OK, I'm not going to make my match if I don't get there.'"

She asked hotel staff for a golf cart, but they didn't have one, offering a motor bike instead.

"I'm like, 'I don't do motor bikes,'" Williams said.

She was slightly less reluctant to try the bicycle, which she said turned out to be fun.

"It was probably one of my best memories I think ever, riding a bike to a match. That's pretty cool," said Williams, who was pleased to be told that tennis great Martina Navratilova sometimes rode a bike to Wimbledon.

"Yeah?" Williams said. "Honestly, I hear a lot of players do that, but I never did that. So, check."

Maybe the unfamiliar exercise accounted for her slow start against Japan's Morita, who broke Williams in the second game en route to a 3-0 lead.

Williams was back on track soon enough, winning seven straight games to lock up the first set 6-3 and hold her serve in the opening game of the second.

She gained the only advantage she needed with a break for 4-2 in the second. Serving for the match at 5-3, she gave herself a match point with her seventh ace and polished it off with a service winner.

Despite how easily she turned the tables, Williams said she respected Morita's game.

"I get a good impression from her," Williams said. "I played her before. She's tough. She stays really focused and she stays really pumped up, which I think is a really good feature."

Williams who currently shares the record of five Miami titles with German great Steffi Graf, next faces 13th-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Romina Oprandi.


Defending women's champion Agnieszka Radwanska outlasted Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3 to reach the round of 16 at the $8.5 million WTA Miami Masters hardcourt tournament.

The Polish fourth seed has a chance to become the first repeat women's winner at Miami since Serena Williams in 2007-2008.

Radwanska will next face Sloane Stephens who advanced when Venus Williams withdrew with a back injury.

Fifth-seeded Li Na of China booked her fourth-round berth with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Varvara Lepchenko.

Li smacked 19 winners and fought off a late comeback bid by the American, who battled back from 4-2 down in the second set to level the frame at 4-4.

Li broke her again in the 10th game to seal the match, belting a forehand winner to end matters.


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