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Li makes winning return to WTA tour

MIAMI (AFP) –

Li Na of China plays a backhand to Kiki Bertens of Netherlands, March 21, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida

Li Na of China plays a backhand to Kiki Bertens of Netherlands during their second round match at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 21, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Li made a winning return to WTA action, beating Bertens 6-3, 6-1.

China’s Li Na made a winning return to WTA action on Thursday, beating Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1 in her second-round opener at the Miami WTA and ATP Masters hardcourt tournament.

Li had been sidelined for seven seeks after hurting her left ankle in the final of the Australian Open, where she fell to Victoria Azarenka.

“I wasn’t nervous today before the match, but I was excited,” Li said. “For the last six or seven weeks I haven’t played any tournaments so I was happy with the result and to win my first match after such a long time.”

Li, ranked fifth in the world and seeded fifth in a field headed by world No. 1 Serena Williams, didn’t drop her serve, saving both break points she faced in the emphatic 67-minute match.

She was buoyed by a vocal contingent of fans, something she wasn’t expecting.

“There were a lot of fans there to support me today, I was like ‘Wow!’” she said.

“My game was pretty good. I followed the plan of what I should do. I just had to believe in myself that I could do it.”

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