Serena Becomes Winningest Player in Sony Open History
Serena Williams won her seventh WTA title in Miami, making her the winningest player, female or male, in tournament history. And she did it in grand style. Facing a first set 5-2 deficit to Li Na, the World No.1 player mounted a furious comeback, showing her full arsenal to a stunned Na.
Down 3-5, Williams took three straight points, including whipping two serves by Li, to hold in the ninth before breaking her opponent in a classic Game No. 10 in which both players traded five points – with Li actually serving for the set at 40-30 – only to have Williams hit a winner at the net, climbing back to 5-5.
Williams won 4 straight points to hold at 6-5, and started showing why she is regarded as perhaps the best women’s player ever to step on a tennis court. With Li serving to force a tiebreaker, Williams charged to a 40-0 lead, although Li rallied to get to deuce. Back and forth they went again, trading 12 points before Serena hit a return just inside the line for a winner to end the set in 73 minutes.
With 19 winners through the first game of the second set, Williams held serve to take a 1-0 lead. And she wasn’t done. Williams battled back to force deuce in the third game before firing a service point winner to take back the lead. Three minutes and a break later, Williams hit 4 straight winners to take a commanding 4-1 lead. The all-time Sony Open titleholder would not be denied, taking the next two games to collect the Butch Buchholz Trophy.
With the win, Williams broke the record of total Sony Open titles she shared with Andre Agassi on the men’s side. What did the No. 7 mean for Williams?
“I was actually super excited at the end, because I remember sitting here last year trying to get to six, you know, thinking, Okay, obviously I want seven but I don’t want to put the pressure on myself to get to seven. Obviously 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.”
Story excerpts from SonyOpenTennis.com
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