American Venus Williams and Germany's Angelique Kerber both advanced in windy conditions at the Miami Open tennis tournament, earning victories in second - round matches that ended in the wee hours of Saturday.
With strong gusts making every rally an adventure and forcing her to play more defensively than usual, the 11th - seeded Williams leveraged her experience and greater consistency to secure a 6 - 4, 6 - 3 victory over Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia, reports Efe.
The seven - time Grand Slam champion went up an early break only to hand it back when she sent a forehand sailing well over the baseline.
Venus committed nine double faults in the match and looked tentative because of the conditions, yet she notched a crucial service hold to go up 5 - 4 and then finished off the first set with a forehand winner in the next game.
In the second set, Venus went up 4 - 2 when Haddad sent a backhand long and then held for 5 - 2 with a swinging volley winner.
Serving at 5 - 3, Venus went down 0 - 30 but she battled back and earned a match point with an unreturnable serve and then sealed the victory with a curling ace that clipped the line.
"It wasn't easy out there.
The wind felt like a gale force, " Williams said before praising her 166th - ranked opponent.
"I'm very impressed with her game and determination, and that will take her very far. "
Next up for Venus in the third round will be Romanian qualifier Patricia Maria Tig, who upset 22nd - ranked Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 7 - 6 (7 - 4), 6 - 2 on Friday.
Just minutes after Venus' match finished, German world No.
1 and top seed Angelique Kerber wrapped up a 7 - 6 (7 - 3), 6 - 2 victory over China's Duan Ying - ying.
Kerber's consistency was also the key factor as she dominated the baseline rallies that ensued when Duan missed her first serve, winning 19 of the Chinese player's 24 second - serve points.
Kerber also commented on the difficult conditions.
"It is windy and it's really late, actually, " she said in her on - court interview.
"I'm very happy about my win.
It's always tough to play your first match here, especially with these conditions. "
Kerber will square off in the third round against American Shelby Rogers, who topped Russian No.
31 seed Daria Kasatkina 6 - 4, 5 - 7, 6 - 0.
In men's singles action Friday, Spain's Rafael Nadal began his quest for his first Miami Open title by defeating Israel's Dudi Sela 6 - 3, 6 - 4.