Samantha Stosur will play American Coco Vandeweghe in the third round of the Miami Masters after a straight-sets victory over Kiki Bertens.
The former US Open champion swept aside the Dutch qualifier 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes on Wednesday afternoon while 21st seed Vandeweghe booked a clash with Stosur by downing Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 7-5.
It was 16th seed Stosur’s first match of the tournament after being awarded a bye into the second round.
Stosur’s victory follows her third-round exit from the Indian Wells Masters, where she was beaten by Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta – the eventual winner of the event.
But she faces a tough road ahead, with a projected fourth-round match-up against world No.1 Serena Williams, who survived a first-set scare before overcoming Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.
The top-seeded defending champion will next face France’s Caroline Garcia after dispatching her Kazak rival in one hour, 45 minutes.
“The first set was really tough. She can make you play. She was hitting the ball well,” Williams said.
“I had to relax and try to keep my intensity and just try to get the win.”
Williams lost a 3-1 lead and trailed 3-5 as Shvedova shifted her game up a gear.
Williams got back on track in the nick of time with a break for 5-all. A love game then ended with an ace for Williams before the set went to a tie-breaker.
In the decider, the 32-year-old Williams saved three set points as a nervous Shvedova missed her big upset chance in front of a screaming house full of her rival’s supporters.
In one dramatic moment, a fight broke out in the upper deck of spectators, forcing a pause for security to intervene after Shvedova had double-faulted on her second set point.
After she also missed on a third, the Kazak handed over a set point to Williams, who finally finished off the 63-minute set on her second opportunity.
Williams finally won with an ace on her first match point to book a date with Garcia, who beat Czech Klara Zakopalova 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3).
“I’m just happy for another win,” said a relieved Williams, who was playing for the first time in a month due to back pain.
German Angelique Kerber advanced with the No.5 beating China’s Peng Shuai 6-3 1-6 7-6 (7-5) while 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the No.8, beat Argentine Paola Ormaechea 6-3 6-4.
Ana Ivanovic, the 12th seed, hammered American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-1 while 14th-seeded Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki ousted Nadia Petrova 3-6 6-4 6-4.
Fourth seed Maria Sharapova, the 2013 runner-up to Williams, outlasted Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-4 in another testing opening match.
Meanwhile, on the doubles courts, fellow Australians Casey Dellacqua and Ash Barty fell 7-6 3-6 10-8 to another Aussie, Anastasia Rodionova, and her Russian partner Alla Kudryavtseva.