• Miami Masters

Serena rallies to beat Shvedova

ESPN staff
March 21, 2014
Serena Williams is seeking a record seventh Miami Masters crown © Getty Images

Serena Williams capitalised on a critical double-fault by Yaroslava Shvedova to survive a 69-minute first set and win 7-6(7) 6-2 to progress to the third round of the Miami Masters.

The world No.1 is seeking a record seventh Miami title, and her second on the spin.

"It was an incredibly tough first set," Williams said, after her first match since February 21. "I just needed to relax and yet keep up the intensity."

Five-time runner-up Maria Sharapova joined Williams in the third round by beating Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-4.

Williams came back from 5-3 down in the first set but then fell behind 6-3 in the tiebreaker. Shvedova pushed a forehand into the net, then hit a nervous double-fault that allowed Williams to relax.

She won the next two points with aces, then closed out the set with a backhand winner.

Her game steadied in the second set, where she hit 18 winners and made only 10 unforced errors - bad news perhaps for opponents to come in the tournament Williams considers her hometown event.

"I obviously love playing here," she told the crowd. "I'm just happy to have a win."

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