Serena beats Li for seventh Miami crown
Serena Williams celebrates winning the first set against Li Na of China during the final of the Sony Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 29, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida - by Matthew Stockman
In a battle of the world's top two players, the US superstar took her tally of WTA titles to 59 -- including 17 Grand Slam triumphs. She added a second trophy in 2014 to the one she lifted in Brisbane in January.
The 32-year-old Williams, who first played at Miami as a 16-year-old, was strangely subdued as she seemed to sleepwalk through the first half hour of the match.
Trailing 4-2, she fought off three break points in the seventh game only to surrender her serve for a second time on a double fault.
The seriousness of her situation woke Williams up. She won the next five games to take the set, saving a set point in the 10th game and hanging on to break Li in a 12th game that went to deuce six times.
Although she delivered just three aces in a match that lated just under two hours, Williams' serve steadily improved as the match wore on, as did the power and precision of her returns.
She seized a 5-1 lead in the second set with a fierce backhand winner on her fifth break point of the game and wrapped up the contest on her first match point.
Li, who won her second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, has now lost 10 straight matches against Williams.
Her only victory in their 12 meetings was back in 2008.