Serena Williams wins record seventh Miami title

Serena Williams, pictured, beat Li Na in the Sony Open final after trailing 5-2 in the first set.

Story highlights

  • Serena Williams of the U.S. wins her seventh Sony Open title in Miami
  • The world No. 1 beats China's world No. 2 Li Na in straight sets, 75 61
  • Williams had to save a set point in the opener before cruising in the second
  • Rafael Nadal plays Novak Djokovic in the men's final on Sunday

Serena Williams is almost unstoppable in Miami. She showed that again Saturday.

Playing close to her home in Florida, Williams started slowly before picking things up and beating Li Na 75 61 for a record seventh title at the Sony Open.

She became just the fourth women's player in the Open Era to claim the same tournament at least seven times, joining retired legends Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Chris Evert.

And no one had ever won seven Miami titles, too.

"It was a really important victory, especially playing Li Na, who has been playing so well," Williams told the crowd. "She started out so well.

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"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I just need to hang in here.' Then I heard some fans trying to pull me through. If it hadn't been for you guys I wouldn't be standing here right now."

In a battle of the two top-ranked players in the world, Australian Open champion Li -- she's the No. 2 -- stormed out to a 5-2 lead and even held a set point on her own serve.

But Williams recovered and won 11 of the next 12 games to capture her second title of 2014. She's now 11-1 against Li.

"I don't think I was playing badly," Li was quoted as saying by the WTA tour's website. "She just started playing a little bit better after she was 5-2 down.

"I don't think I had the wrong game plan today or played wrong. I think it was still a pretty good match. And I was trying so many things like coming to the net more, so it's not bad, really."

On Sunday, the top two in the men's rankings will also play. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal meets Novak Djokovic -- a day after both received walkovers into the finale.

Kei Nishikori couldn't take on Djokovic because of a groin injury while Tomas Berdych was suffering from a stomach illness and withdrew against Nadal.

Nadal is trying to win the Miami Masters for the first time.

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