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Tennis | WTA

Serena Williams © Gallo Images

Serena downs Li for semi spot



World No 1 Serena Williams reached the semifinals with a straight-set triumph on Tuesday at the WTA Miami Masters.

Williams defeated Chinese fifth seed Li Na 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

Breaking Li three times in each set, Williams fell behind in the second set before roaring back to hold off Li, taking the last point off the Chinese's star's serve to end matters after one hour and 50 minutes.

"It's good to be able to at least come back," Williams said. "I like to believe that I try to be a solver. I just try to do things different if something is not working.

"She played such a good tie-breaker. It was important for me to win that."

Williams had three aces and six double faults to one ace and seven double faults for Li.

"I just can't hit any more double faults," Williams said. "It's embarrassing and unprofessional. I hit about 50 in one game and it was just outrageous. It was like at this point I shouldn't be a professional tennis player.

"That was my goal – I'm not hitting any more double faults."

Williams improved to 7-1 against Li with her sixth victory in a row, Li's only win coming at Stuttgart in 2008.

"She has such fight," Williams said of Li. "She never quits and I think that we have a lot of that similar."

Williams, trying to become the first six-time winner in Miami history, will face defending champion and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the semifinals after the latter beat Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the other quarterfinal.

Williams won Miami titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. The 15-time Grand Slam champion also captured last year's US Open, Wimbledon and Olympic crowns.

Li made a strong return to the tour at Miami after an ankle injury suffered in losing the Australian Open final. Li said the ankle felt "100 per cent" after the match but wished she could have served better against Williams.

"She's best player in the world," Li said. "If you couldn't hold, she never give you chance again. I still have to see the positive way. I played well so I should be try to be ready for clay court season."

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