V. Williams, Azarenka advance in Miami

March 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM

MIAMI, March 25 (UPI) -- Venus Williams continued her comeback from a health-related layoff and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka notched a win Sunday at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams needed nearly 3 hours to best Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) as she advanced to the fourth round of her first tournament following a six-month absence.

Williams was sidelined while battling the effects of Sjogren's syndrome -- an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain. The three-time Miami champ gained the field this year as a wild card.

She was down to match point in the second set but fought back for the win after defeating Kimiko Date-Krumm and world No. 3 Petra Kvitova in earlier in the event.

Meanwhile, the top-seeded Azarenka of Belarus cruised into the next round with a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Heather Watson in a 79-minute match.

Also notching Sunday wins were fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 7 seed Marion Bartoli, 15th-seeded Ana Ivanovic, No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova and 22nd-seeded Maria Kirilenko.

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