Key Biscayne: Top seed Serena Williams stared defeat in the face before mounting an exciting comeback to overcome Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, on Monday.
Serena trailed by a set and 4-1 before she reeled off the next five games and ultimately took the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. “This particular time I just thought to myself, ‘I’ve been down worse. It’s nothing new. Just keep fighting,’” Serena said.
“I never give up. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in life or on the tennis court, I keep fighting. That’s what I kept doing today.” Serena closed out the contest with her 14th ace in a battle that lasted a little less than two hours. The American is bidding to become the tournament’s first six-time winner, and claim her first title here since 2008.
Second seed Andy Murray overcame some early jitters before advancing past Grigor Dimitrov 7-6, 6-3 in their third round encounter. Murray had issues with his serve early on and fell behind 5-2 in the first set but his Bulgarian opponent was unable to close out the set, suffering as a result of three double faults.
Meanwhile, Sania Mirza kept the Indian hopes alive by progressing to the doubles quarter finals even as the challenge ended in the men’s doubles event with the defeat of Rohan Bopanna and partner Rajeev Ram in the second round.
Sania and American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands overcame a fighting pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in the second round. They will now fight it out with Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci for a place in the semi-finals.
In the men’s doubles second round, unseeded Bopanna and Ram were knocked out by formidable second-seeded pair of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Somdev Dev Varman was floored by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles, while Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had exited from the doubles after suffering second-round defeats with their respective partners.