Serena Williams hit a stunning 20 aces to exact revenge on Sam Stosur for the 2011 US Open loss and secure her place in the quarter-finals. Serena started slowly and went down an early break but finally managed to make her pressure pay on the Stosur serve as she broke back at 4-4 and took the set, 7-5. The turning point was a lengthy game in the second set at 2-2 where Serena saved a number of break points and let out a humongous “come on” as she held. Stosur didn’t play badly, but was comfortably second best in the serving statistics and also failed to find top form on her forehand as she succumbed to a 7-5 6-3 loss.
Li Na joined Serena in the next round with a hard fought victory over Sabine Lisicki, 3-6 6-4 6-2. It was not a pretty match at all with the two players producing just 26 winners to 93 unforced errors. It was a far cry from their high-quality, winner-happy Wimbledon showdown last year. Li did well to come through in the end but was well short of her best; another player that has failed to hit top form in Miami is Li’s quarter-final opponent, Maria Sharapova. She had to fight hard against Ekaterina Makarova and herself at times in a 6-4 7-6 victory.
Agnieszka Radwanska finally put an end to Garbine Muguruza Blanco‘s fairytale run, 6-3 6-2. The scoreline failed to show the struggles of this match, which featured a number of lengthy matches. Marion Bartoli was most impressive of the five winners so far as she sailed past Maria Kirilenko, 6-2 6-1. She lost just 11 points in the first set and after a tight start in the second, she made the breakthrough and ran away with the match, allowing Kirilenko just 4 points on her serve throughout the second set… Bartoli in this form will give the winner of Victoria Azarenka and Dominika Cibulkova something to think about!
The 4th round of Miami is one of the most exciting days of tennis in the whole calendar but unfortunately the matches have failed to deliver so far… on the up-side, we have three matches left and the line-up for the quarter-finals and onwards is looking super exciting 🙂