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Serena reaches another milestone with Miami Open triumph

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 26: Serena Williams plays a match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan during Day 6 of the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 26, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
March 28, 2016 12:11 PM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

As she has done so many times in her career, Serena Williams cruised into the second week of the Miami Open. This time, however, the most successful player in the three-decade history of the tournament collected a major milestone along the way.

Williams (pictured above) toppled world No. 97 Zarina Diyas, 7-5, 6-3, on Saturday to book her place in the fourth round and secure her 750th career WTA victory. The 21-time Grand Slam women’s singles champion is seventh all-time on the WTA match win leaderboard, just three behind fellow American Lindsay Davenport.

Next up would be Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, at 759, followed by Virginia Wade, at 839. By next summer, Williams could surpass Steffi Graf’s 902 career wins for third all-time behind only Chris Evert (1,309) and Martina Navratilova (1,442).

The current world No. 1 is no stranger to success in Miami. Williams sports a 75-7 lifetime record at the event and has won her past 20 matches at the Crandon Park Tennis Center. She has failed to make to make the quarterfinals here just once in 15 tries (she lost in the round of 16 to Jennifer Capriati in 2000) and is 8-2 when she reaches the final.

Williams, already the oldest-ever champion at the Miami Open following her victory 12 months ago, holds several other records at the Florida tournament. No man or woman has won more titles (eight) or appeared in more finals (10) than the American, who has been seeded No. 1 more times (seven) than any other player in history. Should Williams win the tournament again – adding to successes in 2002-04, 2007-08 and 2013-15 – she will also take sole possession of most consecutive titles, an honor she currently shares with Graf and Andre Agassi, and the record for the most consecutive matches won (24).

The 34-year-old plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round on Monday and would face the winner of Elina Svitolina versus Ekaterina Makarova in the quarters. World No. 5 Simona Halep could await in the semifinals, with a potential repeat of the Australian Open final against world No. 3 Angelique Kerber in championship match.

Of Williams’ 750 career singles wins, 479 have been on hard courts, 157 on clay, 88 on grass and 26 on carpet. She is 69-19 lifetime in finals, including 21-5 in Grand Slam singles finals, and an impressive 166-65 against Top 10 players.

She has spent a total of 285 weeks at No. 1 since first becoming the 13th different player to stand atop the rankings in July 2002. Only Navratilova (332 weeks) and Graf (377 weeks) have been No. 1 in the world for a longer time.