Serena Williams edges Li Na for Sony Open title

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Top seed and world No. 1 Serena Williams defeated No. 2 Li Na, 7-5, 6-1, to win a record seventh Sony Open Tennis title Saturday.

With the victory, Williams increased her lead with her seventh Sony Open crown. Steffi Graf had the previous record with five.

Williams also joined the short list of players who won the same WTA event seven or more times, along with Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Graf.

Additionally, the Sony Open Tennis continues to be Williams’ best tournament. She has reached more finals – nine – and won more titles – seven – at this tournament than at any other WTA tournament.

In a dream championship between the top two players in the world, it was actually Li who came out stronger as her massive groundstrokes gave her a 5-2 lead.

However, Williams closed the gap to 5-4 and saved a set point in the next game with a down-the-line backhand winner from behind the baseline and off her back foot. After a series of massive returns, Williams took the first set, 7-5.

Li put up a valiant fight in the second set, but Williams just had too much momentum. The American ended up winning 11 of the last 12 games of the match to close it out and clinch the title.

“It was a really important victory, especially playing Li Na, who has been playing so well,” Williams said. “Then I heard some fans trying to pull me through – if it hadn’t been for you guys I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

“I have to say well done to Serena – you had a very good two weeks here,” said Li, who was eyeing her 10th WTA title.

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