Serena Williams followed her sister Venus in a successful comeback and defeated Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3 in Miami opener, Serena’s first match since loss to Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round of the Australian Open (if we don’t count her two victories in the Fed Cup in February). Serena has won five titles in Miami, but due to injuries and illness she hadn’t played the tournament since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the 2009 final. This year an ankle sprain had put her away from the courts. In the match against Zhang, Serena’s game was far from being free from mistakes, but she did serve six aces and on her first serve her opponent won only seven points.
In another second round encounter, Kim Clijsters successfully moved on, following up her tough win in the first round against Jarmila Gajdosova with an upset of seed No.14 Julia Goerges, 6-2 7-5. In the second set against Goerges, nine games out of 12 were breaks of serve. Numerous injuries have made sure that this is only Clijsters’ sixth tournament since Miami last year, and her first since the 2012 Australian Open semifinals where she lost to Victoria Azarenka.
The highest seed to lose so far on Tuesday is No.13 Jelena Jankovic. She fell at the first hurdle this month in Indian Wells, and now Mona Barthel wrote the same destiny for JJ in Miami. Jankovic lost 6-0 6-3 after just 61 minutes of play. Both the players had four break chances – Barthel used all her opportunities, while Jankovic converted none. It is Barthel’s first Top 20 victory. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)