Williams shrugs off slow start to speed into third round

Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:54pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams overcame a wobbly start to open the defence of her Sony Open crown with a spirited 7-6(9-7) 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova on Thursday,

A six-time winner on the Miami hardcourts, Williams' second round meeting with the 59th-ranked Shvedova was expected to be little more than a tuneup for the 17-time grand slam winner but for a brief moment the match delivered some unexpected suspense.

"She was doing a little bit of everything," Williams told reporters. "She was hitting hard; she was hitting soft; she was doing a little bit of everything.

"I was making a little more errors than what I should have been making, what I should've made, and that kind of threw me for a loop, as well.

"She was up a break (in the first set) and I started just really trying to fight to make the shots.

"And then when she was serving for the first set I really just tried to be more Serena like."

The contest began with Williams seizing control 3-1 but Shvedova had a sparse centre court crowd buzzing after breaking the American twice on the way to a 5-3 lead.

But with Shvedova serving for the match, Williams showed why she is the sport's dominant player breaking her opponent and forcing the opening set to a tiebreak.   Continued...

Mar 20, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams waves to the crowd after her match against Yaroslava Shvedova (not pictured) on day four of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Williams won 7-6, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3HYRF