Venus Williams plays a shot against Natalia Vikhlyantseva during Day 5 of the Miami Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida. AFP

MIAMI: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams stormed back from deficits in both sets to defeat qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the WTA Miami Open on Friday.

The 37-year-old American improved to 7-3 on the season as she clinched the victory on the second match point when the 21-year-old Russian smacked a forehand wide.

Williams trailed 2-5 in the first set but won five straight games to take the opener. She also rallied in the second set, falling behind 0-3 before winning six of the next seven for the victory.

Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia celebrates a point against Venus Williams of the United States in their second round match during the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida. AFP

Williams advances to the third round where she will face 29th seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who outlasted American Varvara Lepchenko 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.--AFP

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