Venus through to third round, Li handed walkover

Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:07am EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - Before Serena Williams planted her flag at the Sony Open it was sister Venus who ruled over the Miami hardcourts and the older of the tennis siblings signaled on Friday she was ready to reclaim the throne with a 6-3 6-3 win over Anna Schmiedlova.

World number one Serena's resume includes six Miami titles but before her reign began with a first victory in 2002 it was big sister Venus who was the Queen of South beach having hoisted the trophy three times (2001, 1999, 1998).

"I haven't won Miami (in a while) but at least I've won (in Dubai). That's how I look at it," smiled Williams, who won the in the Middle East last month. "I figure another win would be very sweet.

"My whole plan is to be playing. That's it."

Venus, at 33 the oldest player in the women's draw, joined her sister in the third round on Friday despite an uneven performance that included five double faults and 35 unforced errors.

Playing her first event since claiming her 45th career title earlier this year in Dubai, Williams displayed a few signs of rust but was never put under serious pressure by the 19-year-old Slovakian.

"First match back, I felt good," said Williams, the former world number one who is seeded 29th in Miami. "I have been working hard since (Dubai) and I feel really confident in every situation I'm in on the court.

"I have small goals. My goal from Doha and Dubai was to be seeded here and got that.   Continued...