Serena looking to bounce back in Miami


World number one Serena Williams has the chance to return to winning ways as she seeks to win a ninth Miami Open crown.

Williams was unable to capture a 70th career WTA Tour title at Indian Wells on Sunday, swept aside by Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at the BNP Paribas Open.

The 35-year-old American, whose only other defeat of the year came in the Australian Open decider, had no answer as she suffered consecutive finals losses for the first time since 2004 via a 6-4 6-4 defeat.

But Williams - an eight-time winner in Miami - can bounce back at the WTA Premier event, which gets underway on Tuesday.

Azarenka eyeing back-to-back wins - Fresh from a straight-sets triumph at Indian Wells, the 26-year-old has a chance to add another trophy to her collection in Miami and you would not bet against her. Azarenka has history at the tournament, having won it twice in 2011 and 2009.

Kerber, Halep and Muguruza bidding to arrest slumps - Second seed Angelique Kerber has struggled to deal with the weight of expectations since winning the Australian Open. The German dropped her first match at Indian Wells, meaning it was the second consecutive match she had lost in straight sets on the back of Doha last month. Simona Halep started the season second in the world rankings but has since dropped to fifth. That is a result of a 6-6 record, highlighted by the Romanian's shock first-round exit to qualifier Shuai Zhang at the Australian Open. Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza also has a point to prove in Miami. With just one quarter-final appearance - in Doha - to her name in 2015, Muguruza was eliminated in the first round at Indian Wells, which left her on the verge of tears.

Redemption for Radwanska? - The Polish third seed lost out to Williams in the straight sets in their semi-final clash at Indian Wells, despite leading 4-2 in the first set and 6-5 in the second. Radwanska, though, could avenge that defeat in Miami, with the 2012 champion slated to play the American in the final four. Azarenka could meet Muguruza in the fourth round. 

A year ago - Williams successfully defended her title after seeing off Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets. She became the fourth player to win the same WTA event at least eight times thanks to a 6-2 6-0 drubbing dished out to the Spaniard.

All eyes on almost flawless Azarenka - The Belarusian boasts two titles and a 16-1 win-loss record this season. Her only defeat came at the Australian Open, where she lost to eventual champion Kerber in the quarter-finals in Melbourne. Williams did not drop a set at Indian Wells until she met Azarenka in the showpiece.

Kerber dealing with heightened pressure in new world - "[It] is much different than it was like few months ago. It's a completely new situation for me," said Kerber, who dropped to third in the world. "I'm trying to get used to it."