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Golden oldies Serena, Li make it a memorable affair in Miami

March 30, 2014 17:42 IST

Golden oldies Serena, Li make it a memorable affair in Miami



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 centre stage.

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As the downtown core was rocking to a techno music festival, out on Key Biscayne at the TennisCenter 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 No 1 pounded out a 7-5, 6-1 win over Li to claim a record seventh title on the Miami hardcourts.

"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."

Image: Serena Williams poses for a portrait after winning the final of the Miami Masters Sony Open against Li Na of China on Saturday
Photographs: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images


Golden oldies Serena, Li make it a memorable affair in Miami

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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.

"For me, it was just an honour to be there with her.

"We are living the same life and at this stage, to be on top, I don't think it's been done before and I think it's really awesome."

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.

Image: Serena Williams of the United States walks on Crandon Park beach and smiles to her coach and boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou after her straight sets victory over Li Na of China on Saturday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Golden oldies Serena, Li make it a memorable affair in Miami

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"I'm a young 32," laughed Li.

"I really feel now the tennis has changed a little bit because it's not only about technique. More mentally or physically.

"Right now I take more care of myself. I know what I should do already before I come to the court.

"So maybe this is why these couple years I was doing well."

Li, who is staying in a downtown hotel in the heart of the Ultra action was asked if she was tempted to join in on the fun, though she laughed at the suggestion.

"No. Come on. I am too old," smiled Li.

"I was thinking about, ‘Oh, so lucky only one night. Otherwise I would live here.

"Yesterday I have day off and already in our hotel there are like so many young kids with strange dress.

"I look at them, I was like, Wow, we are really old."

Image: Serena Williams of the USA and Na Li of China share a laugh after their Women's final match of the Miami Masters Sony Open on Saturday
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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