Williams lifts level to keep 14-match win streak alive


Miami : Three-time Miami Masters winner Venus Williams assured herself of a return to the world number three ranking after defeating Poland’s sixth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1 in their Tuesday quarter-final.

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The 29-year-old US player will overtake deposed top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday’s WTA list.

After being forced to a comeback on Monday against Daniele Hantuchova, the latest Williams win was decidedly more straightforward and lifts her to 18-1 this season.

“Getting through a match like yesterday makes me more confident because it wasn’t exactly my best game,” she said.

“To know I can beat a player who’s playing so well like yesterday, when I wasn’t at my best, gives me a lot of confidence. Today I was kind of eager to clean up my act.”

Williams, who last won the Miami title in 2001, is now riding a 14-match win streak dating back to titles last month in Dubai and Acapulco.

The third seed managed eight aces and five breaks of serve in her 75-minute win over Radwanska, with Williams now standing 5-1 in the series.

Williams and Radwanska met last year in Miami with Williams winning their fourth-round clash. The American has now won 46 Miami matches, third on the all-time tournament list.

In men’s play, former Floridian and Miami hero Andy Roddick, the sixth seed, recovered from an early 1-4 deficit against Benjamin Becker before defeating the German 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Becker out-aced noted big server Roddick by 11 to eight in one hour, 20 minutes.

French eighth seed Jo Wilfried Tsonga ran over Spain’s number 12 Juan Carlos Ferrero, while 13th seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny advanced 6-1, 1-0 when Mardy Fish retired after 55 minutes with back pain.

Spain’s Nicolas Almagro stopped Tomaz Bellicci of Brazil 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3).