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Tennis: Williams shrugs off slow start to win Miami opener

Published on Mar 21, 2014 3:16 PM
Serena Williams reacts after winning the first set against Yaroslava Shvedova (not pictured) on day four of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. -- PHOTO: GEOFF BURKE-USA TODAY SPORTS

MIAMI (REUTERS) - Tennis' world No.1 Serena Williams overcame a wobbly start to open the defence of her Sony Open crown with a spirited 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova on Thursday.

Fourth-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, who lost to Williams in last year's final, turned in a steady opening effort after a shock third-round exit at Indian Wells last week, brushing past Japan's Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-4.

A six-time winner on the Miami hard courts, Williams' second-round meeting with the 59th-ranked Shvedova was expected to be little more than a tune-up for the 17-time Grand Slam winner but for a brief moment the match delivered some unexpected suspense.

"She was doing a little bit of everything," Williams told reporters. "She was hitting hard; she was hitting soft; she was doing a little bit of everything.

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