Top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame an error-ridden performance to beat China's Peng Shuai 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 on Thursday to advance to the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open on a clear and cool day in Key Biscayne, Florida.
The 24-year-old Russian, who won a title in Miami in 2006, has not advanced out of the round of 16 in any tournament she has played this season. She made 43 unforced errors before beating Peng in one hour, 51 minutes.
"I'm not thrilled because I was getting mad with myself and I was fighting with myself," said Kuznetsova, who finished with seven aces and won 38 of 54 first serve points. "I felt the ball very well and I felt my game, but I was up and down."
The two-time Grand Slams winner and World No 4 had some trouble getting by Peng, who only recently returned to action after having appendicitis in February.
After Kuznetsova took a 3-1 lead in the third set, Peng tied it 3-3, then 4-4, before Kuznetsova pulled away by breaking serve in the final game.
Third seed Venus Williams, wearing a new red tennis dress, joined Kuznetsova in the third round after a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the night match.
"New outfit definitely inspired by tie dye," said Williams.
"I brought back another tie dye. The motif is really about sporty sexy, and kind of that whole attitude of bringing that to my game."
Former World No 1 Ana Ivanovic continued her quest to get back to the top by advancing with a 6-4, 6-3 win over France's Pauline Parmentier in an earlier match.
Defending champion Victoria Azarenka plays on Friday in the day session along with Kim Clijsters and top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic and Rafael Nadal.