Andreescu Holds Off Muguruza In Miami; Osaka Cruises, Barty Tops Azarenka, Meets Sabalenka
by Staff | March 30th, 2021, 10:15 am
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On a big day of eight fourth round matches, Bianca Andreescu collected her best win since her US Open title rallying to beat a very in-form Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Miami Masters quarterfinals.

“I felt super pumped in the match, and after the match I was constantly smiling, like, I’m just super, super happy,” Andreescu said. “I feel like this was a step closer to feeling as good as I was in 2019.”

Muguruza entered the contest on a 8-match win streak and the favorite against the Canadian whose last Top 20 win came against Serena in that 2019 US Open final. Andreescu was also coming off a tough 3-set win Sunday over Anismova.

Early on, it was all Muguruza but the Spaniard failed to convert early break chances in the second and that’s when Andreescu got on a roll, taking the second then going up a break in the third.

“It was really tough. She started out playing really, really well,” Andreescu said. “I don’t think I was at the level I wanted to be right at the start of the match, because I knew she was going to come out really, really strong, and that’s what she did.

“But I had to readapt, which I did in the second set. I regrouped. I kept fighting. I changed my game plan a little bit as well. And it worked.

“I keep proving that to myself, and it’s really nice to get that under my belt. I felt super, super pumped the whole match, considering everything that’s been happening. I’m just super, super happy.”

Despite the loss, Muguruza leaves the first three moths of 2021 as the wins leader.

I feel it was like a very tight match. I felt I had many opportunities. I had opportunities in the second set to take the lead. I just didn’t convert them.

“Definitely I feel the difference was physically,” Muguruza said. “I felt today out there very limited by that. You know, I felt like my body wasn’t 100% and I had to deal with pain from many matches. But, yeah, definitely physically it didn’t allowed me to play the way I wanted.”

Andreescu will have a day off rest before a quarterfinal against the surging Sara Sorribes Tormo who advanced over Ons Jabeur in three.

Earlier, in a battle of former champions, Ash Barty held off Victoria Azarenka in three sets 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.

“I think the first two sets probably had some pretty big momentum swings, but I think the third set was a real tussle,” said Barty. “Particularly through that middle part I think from 1-All, 2-All, 3-2, those games in the third set turned out to be pivotal, but it was just about staying the course and over time trying to execute my game plan as best I can and try and kind of bring it back onto my racquet where I felt I was in control a little bit more in that third set and had a little bit better court position.”

Barty is back on court today to battle Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka stormed past Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-2.

“Not going to be easy match,” Sabalenka said of Barty. “She’s playing really well. She’s a tricky player, and it’s not easy to play against her. I’ll prepare myself as good as I can. I’ll do my best in that match, make sure I can get this win.”

Sabalenka leads Barty 3-2 with all three wins coming in Asia.

Tournament favorite Naomi Osaka cruised to her 23rd straight win getting past Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3. Osaka got up early in the opening, holding off a late charge from the Belgian. She then won the last four games of the match to reach her very first Miami quarterfinal.

“It definitely feels very special,” Osaka said. “This is one of my favorite tournaments to play, and of course I’m sad I hadn’t been able to get to the second week the last times that I have played this tournament. But I’m here now, and hopefully it will go well this time.”

Osaka will face Maria Sakkari on Tuesday. The Greek saved six match points to deny Jessica Pegula 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(6).

Sakkari led 3-1 in the third before Pegula ran off four straight games. But the American failed to serve it out at 5-3 then couldn’t covert five match points at 5-4 and another in the breaker.

Under the hot sun, Elina Svitolina got the better of Petra Kvitova. She’ll now face Anastasija Sevastova today in the quarterfinals.

ANDREESCU-MUGURUZA HIGHLIGHTS

TUESDAY QUARTERFINALS
Barty v Sabalenka
Svitolina Sevastova

WEDNESDAY QUARTERFINALS
Osaka v Sakkari
Andreescu v Sorribes Tormo


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