BEIJING (AP):Top-ranked Serena Williams fought off three set points and rallied to beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 7-5 yesterday to advance to the quarter-finals of the China Open.
Williams won her 70th match of the year and improved to 8-0 against Kirilenko.
The unseeded Russian made Williams work for the win, however. She broke Williams to take a 5-4 lead in the first set, then held three set points on her serve before Williams recovered to take the set. Kirilenko also broke Williams in the second set and took a 4-2 lead before faltering down the stretch.
Williams next plays the winner of the match between sixth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and 11th-seeded Sloane Stephens. Stephens defeated Williams in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open - one of only four losses for Williams this year.
In other matches, Serbian Jelena Jankovic routed Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-0.
On the men's side, American Sam Querrey upset sixth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-3, 7-6 (2).