World No. 1 Serena Williams worked her way into the third round of the Sony Open, where she will now face Caroline Garcia for the third time on the WTA tour. Williams leads the head-to-head series 2-0, with a pair of victories during the 2013 season.
The American made a strong start to her opening contest, as she jumped to a 3-1 lead over Shvedova in the early stages of the contest. While it looked like Williams would storm into the third round, Shvedova fired back with four consecutive games to lead 5-3, before the top seed managed to scrape her way to a tiebreaker. The American would once again go down 6-3, and was forced to fend off 3 set points to win it 7-6(7). The second set was a quicker affair, as Williams found the double break to secure the 6-2 win.
“She was playing really, really well,” Williams said. “When she was up a break I really tried to fight to make the shots. And when she was serving for the first set, I just tried to be more Serena-like. She was doing a little bit of everything today – she was hitting hard, she was hitting soft, she was doing a little bit of everything. I was making a few more errors than what I should have been making, what I should have made, and that really kind of threw me for a loop during the match as well.
“But I just tried to come back and stay in the match.”
World No. 74 Caroline Garcia also had to claw her way into the third round, as she edged No.27 seed Klara Zakopalova in a competitive tie-breaks, 76(3) 76(3). It was an impressive victory, as Zakopalova lead 3-1 in the first set, 4-1 in the second set, before Garcia forced tiebreaker in both.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 2-0. Both wins came in straight sets and took place at Grand Slam events in 2013. Garcia has never managed more than five games in a match against the American and will face similar difficulty here in Miami.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets