Williams beats Li to claim seventh Miami title

Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:09pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - Proving there is no place like home, world number one Serena Williams swept past China's Li Na 7-5 6-1 in the final of the Sony Open on Saturday, collecting a record seventh win on the Miami hardcourts.

Williams, who lives an hour's drive from the Tennis Center at Crandon Park and considers the tournament her home event, treated the second ranked Li like an unwelcome guest, needing just two hours on a steamy center court to collect her 59th career title, the $787,000 winner's purse pushing her career earnings over $55 million.

In 14 appearances at the Miami event Williams has driven back to her Palm Beach Gardens home with the trophy half the time, her seven titles two better than the five each she has won at Australian, U.S. Open and Wimbledon grand slams.


After watching Li's forehand return slam into the net to end the contest, a delighted Williams danced around the court, raising seven fingers in the air signaling each of her Miami titles.

"I was actually super excited at the end, because I remember sitting here last year trying to get to six, obviously I wanted seven but I don't want to put the pressure on myself to get to seven," said Williams, who had shared the tournament record of six titles with Andre Agassi. "I wanted to have the most titles here.

"I guess that I've grown up coming to this tournament as a kid, watching so many players and to be one of those players now is really, really awesome for me."

While Williams was critical of her performance earlier in the tournament, calling it unprofessional, the 32-year-old American has been at her best against top players, winning 15 straight over top 10 opponents.   Continued...

Mar 29, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams (right) holds the championship trophy as Li Na (left) holds the runner-up trophy after the final of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Williams won 7-5, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports