Apr 01, 2015

    In-form Williams sisters reach Miami q-finals


    SISTERS Serena and Venus Williams marched into the quarter-finals of the Miami Open after straight-set wins at Key Biscayne on Monday.

    World No. 1 Serena beat 24th-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3, producing 29 winners and 20 unforced errors.

    Kuznetsova, who owns two Grand Slam titles, had beaten Serena twice in their previous nine meetings, but the outcome of this contest never looked in doubt.

    "I know Svetlana is super tough and we always have super tough matches," said Serena. "It seems like I'm cruising, but don't think I'm cruising. I have my matches and I'm really focused in my matches because all these players I play are really good."

    Serena has now won 18 straight matches and is looking to add to her seven titles in Miami with her third straight triumph after winning in 2013 and last year.

    Venus continued a winning streak of her own, making it seven wins in seven against fellow former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) victory.

    The win also made it seven wins in her last eight against top 10 opponents, highlighting Venus' return to form after her health problems.

    The older Williams sister will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the last eight, following the Spaniard's win over seventh-seed Agnieszka Radwanska 5-7, 6-0, 6-4.

    Romanian third-seed Simona Halep won through after beating Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 7-5.

    In the men's section, defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5 to power into the last 16 along with Japan's Kei Nishikori, Canada's Milos Raonic and American John Isner.

    The Serbian world No. 1, who just like last year won at Indian Wells before heading to South Florida, will face Alexandr Dolgopolov - a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci - in the fourth round.

    Fourth-seed Nishikori crushed Serbia's Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2 in 63 minutes, while Raonic moved into the fourth round after a hard-earned 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) win over French 31st-seed Jeremy Chardy.

    Isner caused an upset as the 22nd seed won 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 over ninth-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.