Osaka Ousts Collins, Reaches First Miami Masters SFs; Swiatek v Kvitova Wed
by Staff | March 29th, 2022, 10:43 pm
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The first day of quarterfinal action was one-sided on Tuesday at the Miami Masters.

Gold medalist Belinda Bencic blew through Daria Saville of Australia 6-1, 6-2. The Swiss has lost a total of 17 games in four matches thus far, and hasn’t faced a set point or had anyone get to five games.

“I’m really happy. I really thought it was going to be a complicated match,” said Bencic after the 69-minute win. “Daria, she plays very different. She stays far behind the baseline, so my plan was to attack for sure. I’m happy it’s going better against and I’m back on track.”

In the evening, Bencic found out her Thursday semifinal opponent. It will be Naomi Osaka who trounced an ailing Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-1. Osaka was paced by 13 aces, one off her Miami-best 14 she hit in 2019, and she reaches her first semifinal in Miami and enjoys her best result since her 2021 Australian Open title, which is also her last trophy. Collins, who made the Australian Open final, was hampered by a neck issue.

“I’m glad I was able to get through quickly. I focused on trying to hit a lot of really good returns,” Osaka said. “This is actually my first night match too, so I didn’t know what the conditions would be like.”

Bencic has defeated Osaka in three of four meetings including two most recently in 2019.

“I get really emotional when I play people around my age or younger,” Osaka said. “I don’t know if it’s like this thing that I want to be better than them, but I just automatically put a lot of pressure on myself. I kind of acknowledged that after I lost to Coco that one year. I’m just like, you know what? I’m at an age there is going to be a bunch of young, really good players, and I have to respect them and know that they are here for a reason. I was once in their shoes.

“I think my mentality was a very big part in my losses back then. Hopefully, it will be better, because I feel like I have kind of worked through it. So hopefully on Thursday, it will be more about tennis. She’s a really good tennis player. She won the gold in Tokyo, which I really wanted to win. She’s clearly ranked where she is for a reason.”

Tomorrow, Iga Swiatek returns having won her last 14 to take on Petra Kvitova. And former Indian Wells champ Paula Badosa battles Jessica Pegula in what should be a slugfest.

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