Mar 20, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams reacts after winning the first set against Yaroslava Shvedova (not pictured) on day four of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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World No. 1 Serena Williams overcame a wobbly start to open the defense of her Sony Open crown with a spirited 7-6(9-7) 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova Thursday.Fourth-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, who lost to Williams in last year's final, turned in a steady opening effort after a shock third-round exit at Indian Wells last week, brushing past Japan's Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-4 . Williams then clinched the set with a crushing forehand followed by an equally forceful fist pump.After trading breaks to open the second set, Shvedova would hold serve before a focused Williams moved in for the kill, sweeping the next five games to secure passage to the next round. A five-time runner-up in Miami, Sharapova has her sights firmly set on finally making Miami's winners' circle but will not face a rematch in the final against Williams, with both on the same side of the draw.
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