MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti)
World No. 3 Serena Williams defeated China’s Li Na in the second group match of the $4.9 million WTA Championships in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The U.S. star is now on a 28-1 run since June when she won her fifth title at the Wimbledon.
After an easy opening win against Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the 31 year old had to dig deep to beat Li 7-6(2), 6-3 in a match that saw 11 breaks of serve.
Williams was 4-1 in the first set after serving four double faults, but stormed back to take it on a tie break.
She dominated throughout the second set making two early breaks and sealed the match from her third match ball.
Williams is now top of the red group with only world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus left to face.
Li is still to meet both Azarenka and Kerber, who play each other later Wednesday.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.