After saving three match points on Sunday, Venus Williams had to come back again to claim victory. This time she toppled defending champion Johanna Konta 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and in doing so sent the Brit out of the Top 20.
“The first set was definitely all her, and she came up with some amazing shots to break me at 5-5,” the 37-year-old Venus told the crowd. “There was not much I could do there, except just hope I could keep up in the second and third sets.”
Venus will get a day off before her quarterfinal on Wednesday against the surprising American qualifier Danielle Collins who kept her surge going with a 3-set win over Monica Puig.
Venus is a 3-time Miami winner last taking the title back in 2001.
Two other former champions met with 3-time winner Victoria Azarenka beating Agnieszka Radwanska easily 6-2, 6-2.
“I played my game, and I was doing what was working,” Azarenka said. “I was aggressive, I was using my opportunities to step up, and I put pressure.
“I’m pretty happy that I was able to play consistent throughout the whole match.”
Azarenka returns tomorrow in her quarter against former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova who earned a second set retirement from Zarina Diyas.
“[Pliskova] is an amazing player, a Top 10 player,” Azarenka said. “Been pretty consistent with high results. In the end, she’s a great ball striker, heavy ball, and very big serve.
“For me, it’s a challenge to see how I can approach that and how I can progress from that match. It’s perfect. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.”
Also tomorrow, US Open champions Angelique Kerber collides with Sloane Stephens. Kerber was made to fight past Wang 6-7(1), 7-6(5), 6-3.
Stephens cruised in a dominating 6-3, 6-4 win over Garbine Muguruza.
“I think I miss too many shots,” said Muguruza. “I did a couple of mistakes that I shouldn’t have done in important moments, and she was serving good. I think my serve in general could be better.”
If Stephens beats Kerber, she will finally crack the Top 10.
“I will be happy, because I’m tired of people saying, ‘And her career high ranking is 11 in the world,’” said Stephens. “Hopefully one of these days, sometime soon, I’ll be able to break it… It will be a good step. That one spot will really determine a lot of things.”
Elena Svitolina awaits the winner of the Petra Kvitova-Jelena Ostapneko match which was delayed due to rain.
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