Iga Swiatek rolled to her 13th straight win cruising past Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-3 to advance to the Miami Masters final.
“I feel like I’m in a good place with my tennis and I’m focusing on that,” Swiatek said. “I know the ranking can be pressure, but on the other hand when I was climbing up and I entered Top 10 and Top 5 I felt the same feeling, and right now I don’t want to repeat that. So I just focus on my game.
Tomorrow, Swiatek will take on Coco Gauff for a second time after beating the teen in Rome last year.
Gauff escaped the clutches of Shuai Zhang who couldn’t close out the 18-year-old. Zhang served for the first set with set points and led with a break in the second 4-2. Gauff was able to battle back both times as Zhang failed to find the court.
“Shuai, she’s such an amazing player on the singles court and doubles court. I have a lot of respect for her,” Gauff said told the crowd.
“Today was tough. I wasn’t playing my best in some moments, but I was just trying to hang in there and put the ball in the court.”
Gauff also recalled the Rome meeting with Swiatek.
“I played her in Rome last year in the semis and she won. She won that match. Hopefully this time it’s a different result for me,” Gauff said.
“Honestly, I have no pressure going in. She’s the No. 1 player in the world. She’s on a hot streak right now. … Hopefully, I’m just going to go out there and play free.”
Victoria Azarenka retired to 16-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova down 6-2, 3-0. The 2-time champion didn’t quit due to injury, but rather personal reasons.
“I shouldn’t have gone on the court today,” Azarenka said in a statement. “The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life. Last match took so much out of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience as they helped me pull through my first match. I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake.
“I hope to be able to take a break and come back.”
The Czech teen becomes the youngest to reach the last 16 in Miami since 2004.
“Of course I didn’t want it to end this way, because Vika is one of the players I grew up watching, and she’s definitely one to look up to,” Fruhvirtova told the stunned crowd. “I just wish that she feels better as soon as possible.”
Petra Kvitova and Paola Badosa also advanced.
Tomorrow, it’s a full day of fourth round play headlined by Swiatek and Gauff, but Naomi Osaka returns to face Alison Riske. And Badosa is back to battle Fruhvirtova.
With Azarenka out, there will be two new Miami finalists and a new Miami champion on Saturday.
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