The lower seeds again took a beating on Friday at the Miami Open where a top American and and both Indian Wells finalists exited the tournament.
Safely advancing were all four Top 10 seeds in action as No. 4 Elina Svitolina handled Indian Wells winner Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-2; No. 6 Jelena Ostapenko beat Timea Babos 6-4, 6-4, No. 8 Venus Williams tamed Natalia Vikhlyantseva from a brak down in the first 7-5, 6-4, and No. 9 Petra Kvitova labored past Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
“She hit every unexpected shot and what can you do except clap on those shots?” said Williams who was down a break in both sets to Vikhlyantseva. “Thankfully, I was able to find a way to win this match. At the end, you try to win the last point and walk towards the net as the winner of the last point. I think that’s what I worked towards, and got there.”
Svitolina ended Osaka’s eight-match winning streak.
“I always knew that she can produce a great game,” Svitolina said regarding Osaka. “All the times we played, we played quite a bit now…I think I was playing pretty solid today, serving good. This was the key for today. Making it physical, as well.”
Other seeded winners were No. 11 Johanna Konta, No. 21 Ashleigh Barty, No. 22 Elise Mertens, No. 26 Daria Gavrilova, and No. 29 Kiki Bertens.
Taking out lower seeds on Friday were Petra Martic ousting No. 15 Kristina Mladenovic 3-6,6-4, 6-2; American qualifier Danielle Collins outlasting Fellow American and No. 16 Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 1-6 ,6-1; American Sofia Kenin coming from a set down to beat No. 19 Daria Kasatkina 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, Croat Donna Vekic grinding down No. 24 Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1, Greece’s Maria Sakkari punting No. 28 Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-1; and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia easing past No. 31 Shuai Zhang 6-3, 6-2.
No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki was facing Monica Puig in the late Friday match.
Saturday’s highlights in Miami are Simona Halep vs. Aggie Radwanska, Garbine Muguruza vs. Christina McHale, and Sloane Stephens vs. Monica Niculescu.
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