Li finds Keys to victory, reaches Miami fourth round

Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:26pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number two Li Na finally made her first appearance at the Sony Open on Sunday, taming Madison Keys in an unsteady effort while three-time champion Venus Williams was also made to work under a blazing Florida sun for her spot in the fourth round.

Li displayed some signs of rust in her first match of the tournament after receiving an opening round bye and a walkover when Alisa Kleybanova withdrew from their second round meeting with illness.

She had to fight off three set points and an early break in the second set before clinching a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win over her American opponent.

Williams, seeded 29th at the tournament she considers her home event, battled Casey Dellacqua for almost two and a half hours before subduing the determined Australian wild card 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland continued to confirm she is over the knee problem that plagued her in the final in Indian Wells last Sunday, registering a 7-5 6-3 victory over Russian Elena Vesnina.

Keys, who lives in nearby Boca Raton, had her Chinese opponent on the ropes several times but allowed the experienced Li to escape time-and-time again.

"She's number two in the world for a reason. She just won the Australian Open for a reason," said Keys. "She's a great player.

"I played well at times and she just played the bigger points really, really well.   Continued...

Mar 23, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Li Na serves against Madison Keys (not pictured) on day seven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports