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Venus marches on in Miami

29 March 2018, 02:09 | Percy Christensen

Miami Open: Venus Williams outlasts Kiki Bertens to book Johanna Konta clash

Venus outlasts Bertens to book Konta clash

Just when the erratic Konta needed to put her foot on the accelerator, it was William who responded superbly to put her opponent firmly on the backfoot.

"I have really great memories from a year ago, and I want to thank everyone for coming out and making my return to the center court a special one", said Konta, who reached the quarter-finals on debut in 2016, during her on-court post-match interview.The Brit followed a long and successful trend.

The Brit started well, breaking the Williams serve in the opening game and having four chances to go a double break up in the third.

Bertens, coming off a second-round loss to Serena Williams in Indian Wells in her competitive comeback following pregnancy, hammered her forehands into the open court to move 3-1 and then 5-3 ahead. "It didn't look good sometimes but that's why you keep playing to the last point, and why I love this game". Three months before her 38 birthday, she was returning to the court after a 2hr 56min epic against Kiki Bertens the previous day.

Fifth seed Karolina Pliskova advanced as Zarina Diyas retired when 6-2 2-1 down and she will take on three-time champion Victoria Azarenka, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2, with Elina Svitolina also booking her spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-5 6-4 win over Ash Barty.

Kerber was made to sweat in her gruelling clash with China's Wang Yafan before prevailing 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Miami Open: Venus Williams outlasts Kiki Bertens to book Johanna Konta clash
Defiant Williams sets up Konta clash in Miami

Konta had been pegged back after an early break against Mertens before reeling off four successive games to take the first set in style.

The Dutch, bidding for the fourth top 10 win after beating No.3 Kerber and No.9 Bacsinszky (2016 Roland Garros) and No.7 Vinci (2016 N├╝rnberg), got broken after a marathon game to 0-2 in the second set.

Ostapenko twice served to avoid a third set.

"In the tie-break, I showed my great tennis, and I won the match", Ostapenko said.

The former world number one will now face either Miami local Monica Puig or American qualifier Danielle Collins for a place in the semi-finals of the women's single event.

US Open champion Stephens dominated Spain s reigning Wimbledon champion Muguruza to record a 6-3, 6-4 win.

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