MIAMI (REUTERS) - Top seed Serena Williams dropped the second set before bouncing back to beat compatriot Christina Mchale 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 in second-round action at the Miami Open in Florida on Thursday.
The eight-time winner of the event took more than two hours to dispose of the world No. 56, but in the end notched her 14th consecutive victory against an American opponent.
The last countrywoman to beat her was sister Venus in Montreal in 2014.
Playing in what almost amounts to a home game, Williams was not in top form, making more than 40 unforced errors, but she finally wore down Mchale in the third set.
"She's clearly capable of playing great tennis. She showed it today," a relieved Williams, speaking of Mchale, told Tennis Channel in an on-court interview.
"Miami is such a special place to me. I live so close to here," continued the 21-times Grand Slam champion, who resides in nearby Palm Beach Gardens.
In other women's second-round matches, third seed Agnieszka Radwaska, of Poland, advanced with a 6-0 6-1 cakewalk over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
"I'm just very happy with that win, maybe the score was not showing everything that was happening on the court," Radwanska said. "But I think it was a great start and a couple of tight games at the beginning of both sets was the key."
The highest seed to be eliminated in day action was 11th-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, who fell to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-2, 6-3.