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Rediff.com  » Sports » Serena, Henin advance in Miami

Serena, Henin advance in Miami

March 29, 2008 09:18 IST

Holder Serena Williams, enjoying the experience of playing at home, breezed past Romanian Edina Gallovits 6-1, 6-2 at the Sony Ericsson Open on Friday.

The American was joined in the third round by top seed Justine Henin, who defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-4, 6-2.

"I love playing here," said Williams, who lives an hour away at Palm Beach Gardens.

"I love having all my friends come and see me play and my family always come to this event. I think any time you play at home you always have that extra oomph," the eighth seed told reporters.

Williams, who has won this title four times, said being the champion provided a confidence boost.

"I more or less feel like I'm coming here trying to win the title," she said. "It definitely erases any kind of pressure."

Wearing a grey top and white skirt she described as "feminine" and "flirty", Williams dominated world number 62 Gallovits.

"It wasn't too tough a match but it was a good match to play," said the eight-times grand slam champion.

Williams raced into a 5-0 lead before Gallovits held serve for the only time in the first set.

Gallovits twice held serve in the second but was never offered a break-point opportunity in the match.

TOP FORM

World number one Henin was also on top form as she outclassed Kerber.

The Belgian, who needed a cortisone injection on an inflamed knee after the Australian Open in January, hammered 10 aces.

"I spent a lot of time on my serve in the last few weeks," said Henin, who missed last week's Pacific Life Open to work on her game.

"But I also had to spend a lot of time in the gym and really work hard, trying to get confidence back and my strength. I haven't played for a few weeks but I feel much better than I did a few weeks ago."

World number 80 Kerber led 2-0 in the opening set before her opponent reeled off four games in a row to take charge.

Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion, also overcame Yung-Jan Chan of Taipei 6-1 3-6 6-0.

Source:
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