Sports

Serena has to wait

PHOTO: REUTERS

World No. 1 Serena Williams' quest for an eighth Miami crown was temporarily put on hold as rain washed out night matches at the combined WTA and ATP Masters tournament yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Williams (above), who was to test a knee injury which forced her to forfeit a quarter-final a week ago in Indian Wells against eventual champion Simona Halep, will open her campaign against Romanian Monica Niculescu - the same player she struggled to beat in the second round in the California desert.

Canada's 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard will play German qualifier Tatjana Maria a day late after their match never got on court.

Defending men's champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will also open his bid for a second straight Masters crown.

Women in action include fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams, seeded 16th and taking on former US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia.

Two-time Miami Open winner Victoria Azarenka did get through in early action when she crushed Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1 in the second round at Key Biscayne.

The clash of two former world No. 1s was expected to be a close battle but Azarenka, winner in Miami in 2009 and 2011, wrapped up the first set in just 28 minutes.

Although Jankovic, runner-up at Indian Wells last week, put up some late resistance and forced a 12-deuce game as Azarenka served for the match, the Belarusian's win was never in doubt.

Third seed Halep, who beat Jankovic in the Indian Wells final, suffered a scare in the second set against Nicole Vaidisova but recovered to post a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win and progress to the third round. - Reuters.