Second seed Li Na finally opened up her campaign in Miami, as she defeated Madison Keys in the third round of the Sony Open to set up a clash with Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro. Li leads the head-to-head series 1-0.
The Chinese No. 1 reached the fourth round in Miami with a 7-6, 6-3 victory over Madison Keys. The American appeared to be the sharper of the two competitors early in the match, as she recovered from an early break to lead 5-3 with a couple of set points before Li broke back to force a tiebreaker. After sneaking past Keys in the opening set, Li loosened up in the second set to win it 6-3. It was not the cleanest of performances from the World No. 2, who hit more unforced errors than winners during her first match in Miami.
“Madison was playing very well today – big serve, big forehand,” Li said after the contest. “I think if she won the first set, she would have been more confident going into the second set, and we would have had a different result in the end. I’m just happy I played well on those big points in the first set.”
Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro reached the fourth round of the Sony Open following a quick 6-2, 6-1 win over Kaia Kanepi. Prior to that, she dropped only five games in her second round match against Scheepers. She will now look to pick up her biggest win this season when she meets Li for the second time on the professional circuit.
Li and Carla have previously met on only one occasion, and while the world No. 2 won the match, it was a very competitive affair. Li looked rusty in her first match in Miami, yet still managed to find a way to win in straight sets. While Suarez-Navarro will likely be a tougher match-up for Li, she will ultimately win the match in three sets if necessary.
Prediction: Li Na in Three Sets