Li masters Keys to reach Miami fourth round
Na Li of China serves the ball to Madison Keys of the USA during their match on day 7 of the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida - by Al Bello
The Australian Open champion and world number two spent nearly an hour surviving the first set, saving two set points on the serve of 38th-ranked Keys.
Keys committed a backhand error on her first chance and double-faulted on the second before Li got the break for 5-4 in a set which eventually went into a tiebreaker.
Li won the decider on the first of four set points to seize the match momentum in front of a sparse crowd.
The Chinese number one recovered from an early break in the second set, eventually reaching 5-2.
Li then saved a pair of break points in the final game thanks to Keys' unforced errors and took victory after one hour, 41 minutes as her opponent again misfired.
"It was a pretty tough match," Li said. "She played well, big serve, big forehand, especially when she was 3-1 down and then come back 5-3 up and served for the first set.
"During that time I didn't think about too much. I say, 'OK, try to hit the ball, try to do what you have to do, and I think saving the set points at least kept me in the first set.
"This changed the match a little bit, because after that I was feeling her level drop."
Li won despite seven double faults, 26 unforced errors and just 11 winners. She broke on five of 10 chances against an opponent whom she has now beaten on two of three occasions.
Li is playing in Miami for the eighth time, reaching four quarter-finals. She owns titles in 2014 from Shenzhen and Melbourne.
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