Williams' win sets up a semi-final rematch of last year's final
against Maria Sharapova, a five-time runner-up on the Miami
hardcourts, who advanced with an equally impressive 7-5 6-1 win over
eighth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova.
While Williams was shutting down fifth seed Kerber, Miami Dade
police were locking down the sprawling tennis complex after a
suspicious package was found at the main entrance.
Four-lane traffic was halted in both directions in front of the
complex while spectators were prevented from entering or leaving the
"Yeah, there was a bomb threat and a lockdown but that's all I know
about it. Scary," said Williams.
Sharapova and Williams, who have both achieved a career grand slam
and held the number one ranking, were expected to develop into one
of the great rivalries in women's tennis.
But it has not quite worked out that way with Williams dominating
the series, winning 15-of-17 career meetings including the last 14.
The pair have clashed three times in Miami, Williams winning all
"It's no secret that she's been a big challenge of mine, an opponent
that obviously I would love to beat," said Sharapova, who has not
beaten Williams in almost a decade.
"There are certainly ways that I need to step up in certain
situations that I haven't been able to do in the past against her.
"But it's great that I have come to that stage and have the
opportunity to play her again."
Certainly Sharapova will have to be at her best as Williams' title
defense has picked up steam with each match.
The world number one needed just 62 minutes to dispose of Kerber and
has dropped one set on route to the final four.
"When you're playing champions, you have to play your best," said
Williams, looking ahead to her meeting with Sharapova. "She always
plays her best and her heart out against me.
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"We just have to bring the best because we both are really good
players. We just both do the best we can when we try to play each
"I love playing her. I really do."
Sharapova, who has come up short in the Miami final each of the last
three years, dropped her opening serve to Kvitova but that would be
the only time in the entire match.
The fourth-seeded Russian took control with a break to get back on
level terms at 4-4 and then again to close out the first set.
Sharapova then dominated the second set, storming through the first
five games before a reeling Kvitova held her serve.
"I didn't have a good first few games, so I was happy that I was
steady, that I kept trying to do the right thing, kept trying to be
aggressive," said Sharapova. "I think that paid off as the match
went on because I made a few too many unforced errors in the
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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