Serena Williams earns 700th win to reach Miami Open semis
Key Biscayne: Serena Williams abused her racket, scolded herself and even made angry faces at the sun. In the end, as usual, she took out her frustration on the ball.
The seven-time Key Biscayne champion overcame her annoyance and shaky play Wednesday for her 700th career victory, beating Sabine Lisicki 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open.
Williams won despite an unreliable serve, a poor second set and 51 unforced errors. She looked flatfooted and listless at times, and seemed especially vexed when playing on the side looking into the sun.
“It’s always tough on that side,” she said. “You just don’t see. You just have to adjust.” She did, earning her 16th consecutive victory on Key Biscayne, where she’s the two-time defending champion.
“I know today wasn’t my best day,” she said. “I just told myself, I’m not serving the way I normally serve and hitting the way I normally would hit, so at this point all I can do is just fight and try to give 200 percent instead of 100 percent.”
The No. 1-seeded Williams’ opponent Thursday night will be No. 3 Simona Halep, who beat unseeded American Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-5. No. 9 Andrea Petkovic plays No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro in the other semifinal.
Two-time champion Andy Murray advanced to the men’s semifinals by rallying past unseeded Dominic Thiem 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Murray’s opponent Friday will be the winner of the quarterfinal Wednesday night between No. 8 Tomas Berdych and unseeded Juan Monaco.
Williams improved her record to 700-120, making her the eighth woman in the Open Era to reach the milestone. She was presented with a cake on the court, similar to the honor Murray received following his 500th victory Tuesday.
“I think my destiny was to play tennis,” Williams said. “I saw a picture where I was in a stroller on the tennis court.”