Seven-time champion Serena Williams overcame some shaky play Wednesday for her 700th career victory, beating Sabine Lisicki 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open.
Williams won despite an unreliable serve, a poor second set and 51 unforced errors. The victory was her 16th in a row on Key Biscayne, where she's the two-time defending champion.
She improved her career record to 700-120 and was presented with a cake on the court. Andy Murray received a similar honor following his 500th victory Tuesday
The No. 1-seeded Williams withdrew before the Indian Wells semifinal earlier this month with a right knee injury, but she has won 19 consecutive matches this year.
Williams' opponent Thursday will be the winner of the match Wednesday night between unseeded American Sloane Stephens and No. 3 Simona Halep.
For much of her quarterfinal, Williams trailed in fist pumps and points, and her frustration quickly showed. After losing three consecutive games to fall behind 4-3 in the first set, the Floridian pounded the court with her racket and drew jeers in the stadium she considers her home court.
Williams won the first set only because Lisicki wobbled in the tiebreaker, hitting three shots into the net before double-faulting on the final point.
Williams played even worse in the second set, losing six games in a row, but then began to grunt louder and hit harder, with positive results. She earned the only break of the final set in the second game and held from there, serving out the match at love.
“Come on!” she shouted when it was over, as if already gearing up for the semifinal.