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By Erik Gudris | Sunday. March 23, 2014

 
Venus Williams Backhand Miami

Venus Williams came out on top in a lengthy three set battle on Sunday at the Sony Open. But fans outside Miami hoping to watch the match posted their own victory as well.

Photo Credit: AP

Venus Williams extended her recent win streak but not without some hard work in hot conditions at the Sony Open in Miami.

Facing off against Australian veteran Casey Dellacqua in the third round, Williams cruised to a quick 5-1 lead in the opening set. Yet the American struggled to serve out the set multiple times before she finally broke Dellacqua to seize it 6-4.

Dellacqua earned an early break in the second set but failed to maintain it as Williams later broke back for 4-all. The Australian would claim another break later and, despite Williams saving several set points, would close it out 7-5 to force a decider.

With temperatures and humidity soaring on court, both players stopped play due to a mandatory heat rule before the start of the final set.

Williams took hold of a 4-2 advantage only to have Dellacqua climb back into the set for 4-all. At 5-4, Williams made her move while holding a match point to secure the 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win.

"She's playing so well and mixing her shots up so I knew it wouldn't be easy, but definitely looking forward to the next round," Williams said afterwards.

Before the match started, fans outside of Miami complained on social media about it not being on Sunday's broadcast schedule. Tennis Channel's Renee Stubbs, who also lamented the decision, posted this message on Twitter after apparently complaining to the WTA.



But a few minutes before match time, Tennis Channel announced that they had successfully negotiated to air the match on their network.


Williams will next face Dominika Cibulkova.

Li Na Plays First Match of Event, Reaches Fourth Round


No. 2 seed Li Na, who reached the third round via a bye and then a walkover, played her first match in Miami versus young American Madison Keys.

Keys held several set points on her serve at 5-3 in the first set. But Li battled back to break and eventually level things at 5-all. Li would go on to take the opening set in a tiebreak.

Though falling behind 0-2 in the second set, Li once again would rally against Keys. Soon enough, Li walked away with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win.

Other winners on the day included Agnieszka Radwanska who beat Elena Vesnina 7-5, 6-3 and American Varvara Lepchenko who edged out Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(2).

 

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