Two of the tournament favorites left Miami Saturday. Eight-time champion Serena Williams, who wasn’t scheduled to play, withdrew from the event citing a knee injury.
“I am disappointed to withdraw from the Miami Open due to a left knee injury,” the 37-year-old Serena said in a statement. “It was an amazing experience to play at the Hard Rock Stadium this year and would like to thank the Miami Open for putting on an amazing event.
“I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami.”
Serena had beaten Rebecca Peterson on Friday in her opening match. At Indian Wells, Serena retired in her match against Garbine Muguruza with an illness.
Serena’s last title is the 2017 Australian Open. It is unknown when her next event will be with the clay season now ahead.
Qiang Wang, who was Serena’s opponent today, will move on to the fourth round.
Also departing from the Miami Open was top seed Naomi Osaka. The Japanese had to come from a set and 4-1 down to beat Su-Wei Hsieh at the Australian Open. Saturday, it was Osaka up a set and mere points for closing out the tricky Hsieh in straights when things fell apart in a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 loss.
Osaka served for the match up 6-4, 5-4, 30-0 but Hsieh never stopped fighting. Helped by two double faults, Hsieh leveled and began to turn things around.
Osaka also began the third with a break lead, but again couldn’t hold it.
“Last time, I think she tried to change the rhythm on the match,” Hsieh said. “This time I tried to focus on myself more. I know I leading a lot last time and I lose the match. I was thinking, no matter what happens, I focus what I need to do, then I try. I did it. It’s very good what I do.”
Since parting with Sascha Bajin, Osaka is just 3-3 on the tour.
“I just think I got too emotional, which is something I did last match, too,” Osaka said of failing to serve it out in the second. “I would just say I was kind of immature today. I was thinking too much.”
In the Indian Wells final rematch, the outcome was no different as 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu bounced Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
“It wasn’t easy today. Kerber player a really great match but I think I took the momentum from the final into this match,” Andreescu told the crowd at 1:30am.
“I expected a lot of good things from her but I think I was one step ahead today.”
Andreescu has won her last 10 matches. She is lone remaining unseeded player in the top half. Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Ash Barty were also winners on Saturday.
Today, Venus Williams returns to face former Indian Wells finalist Daria Kasatkina. The 38-year-old Venus has dropped two of her three meetings with the Russian.
Simona Halep faces Polona Hercog while defending champion Sloane Stephens takes a 2-0 edge into her match against Tatjana Maria.
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