Williams rallies to beat Kirilenko in China Open - NBC Sports

Williams rallies to beat Kirilenko in China Open
Serena Williams of U.S. returns a shot to Francesca Schiavone of Italy during the second round of the China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, China Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
October 3, 2013, 2:43 am

BEIJING (AP) Top-ranked Serena Williams fought off three set points and rallied to beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 7-5 Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the China Open.

Williams won her 70th match of the year and improved to 8-0 against Kirilenko.

The unseeded Russian made Williams work for the win. She broke Williams to take a 5-4 lead in the first set, then held three set points on her serve before Williams recovered to take the set. Kirilenko also broke Williams to go up 3-2 in the second set before faltering down the stretch.

In other matches, Serbian Jelena Jankovic routed Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-0.

On the men's side, American Sam Querrey upset sixth-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6 (2).

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