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Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga register wins at Miami Open

Serena Williams plays a backhand in her win over Monica Niculescu Miami, March 29 (IANS) Serena Williams recovered well from knee injury to ease p ...

Serena Williams plays a backhand in her win over Monica Niculescu

Miami, March 29 (IANS)

Serena Williams recovered well from knee injury to ease past Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-1 at her Miami Open opener here on Saturday.

The match was the first for Serena since she withdrew before the semi-finals at Indian Wells last week, citing a right knee problem, reports Xinhua. "It was a little sore in practice, but it was OK today," she said.

Serena's sister Venus also advanced, beating Samantha Stosur 6-4, 7-6 (3). The older Williams' opponent in the fourth round will be No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki, who rallied to beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Eugenie Bouchard was upset in her opening match by qualifier Tatjana Maria 6-0, 7-6 (4). Bouchard, seeded No. 6, won less than half her service points, had five double-faults and was broken five times. The Canadian, a Wimbledon finalist last year, is only 6-4 this year. Her career record at Key Biscayne fell to 1-3.

In the men's matches, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the number 11, has been out of action since November with an arm injury. He made a successful return with 10 aces and 30 winners in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over American Tim Smyczek. The Frenchman will line up against good friend Gael Monfils in the next match.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic fought to hold off Martin Klizan 6-0, 5-7, 6-1. The Serb now owns 20 wins this season and 31 in Miami. He next plays Belgian Steve Darcis, who defeated Gilles Muller 6-4, 5-7 (2-7), 6-3.

American John Isner beat 17-year-old wild card Andrey Rublev of Russia, 6-3, 6-4. Rublev is the world's No. 1-ranked junior.

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