Miami Masters: Record seventh for Serena after golden oldies battle
Miami is one of the favourite stops on the WTA Tour because of the city's hip, youthful vibe but the final of Sony Open on Saturday was more about the golden oldies as Serena Williams and Li Na took centrestage.sports Updated: Mar 30, 2014 23:50 IST
Miami is one of the favourite stops on the WTA Tour because of the city's hip, youthful vibe but the final of Sony Open on Saturday was more about the golden oldies as Serena Williams and Li Na took centrestage.
As the downtown core was rocking to a techno music festival, out on Key Biscayne at the Tennis Center they were savouring some old time hits as two 32-year-olds slugged it out for the Miami hardcourt title.
Williams musical tastes may run more toward Mariah Carey but her play on a sweltering south Florida afternoon was more heavy metal as the world number one pounded out a 7-5 6-1 win over Li to claim a record seventh title on the Miami hardcourts. The $787,000 cheque pushed her career earnings to over $55 million.
In 14 appearances at the Miami event Williams has driven back to her Palm Beach Gardens home with the trophy half the time, her seven titles two better than the five each she has won at Australian, US Open and Wimbledon grand slams.
"I don't know," shrugged Williams, when asked to explain how two 32-year-olds have come to dominate the women's game.
"I just feel that both she (Li) and I, we just have this never give up fight and it just goes to show that you can still shine at any age."
Number one Williams and number two Li have both won two titles each this season and sit atop the world rankings as the circuit's young guns scramble behind them.
Li's two wins include an Australian Open title and she has reached the final in Miami and semi-final in Indian Wells. Her loss to Williams was just her third of the season.
With wins in Miami and Brisbane, Williams pushed her career total to 59 titles (50 more than Li) and looks poised for another season of domination with just two losses on her record.
"We're playing great tennis and we're both one and two and we're both the same age," said Williams. "We are living the same life and at this stage, to be on top, I don't think it's been done before."
While Williams was at a loss to explain the presence of the duo at the top of the rankings, Li sees it as shift in the game's dynamics with experience and fitness counting as much as technique and youthful exuberance.
"I'm a young 32," said Li with a laugh. "Tennis has changed because it's not only about technique, it's more mental or physical."