Playing in her first tournament since reattaining her world No. 1 ranking, Serena Williams narrowly avoided an upset in the fourth round at the 2013 Sony Open on Monday. Taking on No. 13 seed Dominika Cibulkova, Williams had to rely on a late comeback to eventually win the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Williams looked slow and sluggish to start the match and quickly fell behind. She fell 6-2 in the first set, and the upset watch was officially on when she was down 4-1 in the second set. But she battled back and dominated the remainder of the second set, getting the required break points to win the set 6-4 and force the third set.
She started the third set by breaking Cibulkova, but was broken herself immediately after. Of course, it continued, and she went up 2-1, and managed to hold serve for the first time in the set, going up 3-1. It was all smooth-sailing from there however, as she managed to put herself up 5-3 and serving for the match. She breezed through the final point, and sealed the win.
Williams struggled off and on in her first two matches of the tournament as well. After a first round bye, she fell behind 3-1 in the first set to Flavia Pennetta, before storming back to win, 6-4, 6-1. Then, she was pushed to a tiebreak in the first set against Ayumi Morita, and actually lost the second set before winning the third. Overall, she took that match 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-3.
The road gets tougher for Williams from here on out. She'll have a matchup against No. 5 seed Na Li in the next round. Li took out wildcard Garbine Mugruza 7-6(6), 6-2 prior to Williams and Cibulkova taking the court for their matchup.