Published March 21, 2014
Key Biscayne, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Australian Open champion Li Na didn't even have to unpack her racquet in order to reach the third round, while former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic was sent packing Friday at the $5.4 million Sony Open.
The second-seeded Li received a walkover when Russian Alisa Kleybanova pulled out of their scheduled second-round match on the hardcourts of Crandon Park, citing a viral illness. The 24-year-old Kleybanova overcame Hodgkin's Lymphoma before returning to the WTA last year.
Li's third-round opponent will be promising American Madison Keys, who upended 31st-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2.
Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed from Poland, toppled Switzerland's Romina Oprandi, 6-0, 6-4. The 2012 Miami champion Radwanska was last week's runner-up at Indian Wells.
Venus Williams, the 29th seed and three-time Miami champion, breezed by Slovakia's Anna Schmiedlova, 6-3, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Uzbekistanian-born American Varvara Lepchenko stunned the seventh- seeded 2008 Miami runner-up Jankovic in 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2) fashion and January's Aussie Open runner-up to Li, 10th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, reached the third round by pasting Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-2 on Day 4 in Miami.
Sixth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep pulled out of the draw due to a toe injury and was replaced by Slovakian lucky loser Jana Cepelova.
Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 11 seed, from Denmark, defeated Monica Puig, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
Upsets came when Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova doused 13th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 and Ukrainian Elina Svitolina outlasted 18th- seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Carla Suarez Navarro and Sloane Stephens, the Nos. 15 and 17 seeds, respectively, won their matches. Suarez Navarro downed Chanelle Scheepers, 6-4, 6-1; and Stephens took out Zarina Diyas, 7-5, 6-3.
Meanwhile, 22nd-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet edged out former top-10 German Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-7 (0-7), 6-4; 24th-seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi slipped past American Christina McHale 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-0); Croat Ajla Tomljanovic dismissed 30th-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1; 32nd-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina whipped American Alison Riske 6-2, 6-2; and Aussie wild card Casey Dellacqua bested the aforementioned Cepelova 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.
The winner of this lucrative event will collect $787,000.