Tournament favorites and Top 3 seeds Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep all advanced to the quarterfinals at the Miami Open on Monday.
Kerber cruised past qualifier Risa Ozaki 6-2, 6-2 in a first meeting. Pliskova also won in straight sets, upending Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-4. And Halep needed to save a match point serving 4-5 in the the second to come back and beat Sam Stosur 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
“It was a tough match, like I expected,” Halep said. “But the comeback was pretty good, and I’m really happy about that.
“The last comeback like this for me was in 2014, my first match in Doha against Kanepi. Match point down and I came back. I’m happy about this, shows I can still play some tennis.”
Two top seeds did fall as No. 4 Dominika Cibulkova was upset by Lucie Safarova 7-6(5), 6-1 and No. 6 Garbine Muguruza had to retire after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker to Caroline Wozniacki.
“I started normal, and then like at 3-3 or something like this I started to feel headache, pain in my stomach,” Muguruza said. “And then it kind of went more and more during the match.
“When I was getting to the 5-4, something like this, I started to feel a little bit dizzy. I think it was the heat? The heat affected me suddenly like that.”
Wozniacki meets Safarova Tuesday in the quarterfinals.
“I’m playing really well, and I feel like if I just keep going this way I’ll get another chance,” Wozniacki said. “Hopefully I’ll hold the trophy here and it’ll feel great. I’m just gonna keep putting myself out in positions where I have the opportunity to do well and win trophies. That’s all I can really do.”
In the late match. Venus Williams beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-6(4) in a battle of former Miami champions. Venus won the last six points on the tiebreak from 4-1 down.
The 36-year-old Venus moves on to meet Kerber on Wednesday. She last won Miami back in 2001! “When I first won here I had braces,” Venus joked after the win.
Tuesday will also see Pliskova returning to face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who ended the run of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
In the other quarterfinal on Wednesday, Halep will test Johanna Konta.
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