Williams' bid for ninth Miami title ends

Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:02am EDT
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MIAMI (Reuters) - Serena Williams' bid for a ninth Miami Open title came to a shock end when the world number one was beaten 6-7(3) 6-1 6-2 in the fourth round by 15th-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday.

The loss on the Miami hardcourts was the first since 2012 for William, who had swept the last three titles in her unofficial home tournament.

"I'm really thrilled," said Kuznetsova after registering her first win over Williams since 2009. "I'm sorry fans, who are disappointed that Serena's not going to keep playing, but for sure she'll be at more events than here.

"I'm really happy with my performance. I tried to stay at a good level the whole game. I think I did that pretty well and I'm happy with the way I served today."

It was a day of dramatic upsets at Crandon Park, as Williams stepped onto the Stadium court for her Round of 16 match immediately after third-seeded world number two Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was tripped up by 19th-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 2-6 6-4 6-2.

Radwanska was the winner on the Miami hardcourts in 2012 before Serena Williams embarked on her three title run.

The upsets continued into the afternoon with fourth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza falling 7-6(6) 7-6(4) to 13th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, still in top form following her victory this month at Indian Wells.

Second-seeded Angelique Kerber narrowly avoided being another victim as she survived Timea Babos 6-2 3-6 6-4 in the day's late match.

A tight first set saw both Williams and Kuznetsova register a break but neither player could gain the upper hand, sending the opener to a tie-break which the top-seeded American dominated 7-3 with the help of a pair of thundering aces.   Continued...

Svetlana Kuznetsova (R) shakes hands with Serena Williams (L) after their match on day seven of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Kuznetsova won 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports