Pegula, Rybakina, Sabalenka Move On At Miami Masters; Andreescu Injured
American No. 1 Jessica Pegula moved closer to a first Miami Masters title easing past 31-year-old Magda Linette 6-1, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals.
The 29-year-old Pegula overcame a 5-2 second set deficit and a set point. She broke serve seven times in the match and dropped just seven points on her first serve. Linette won a total of four points of 22 on her second serve.
Pegula returns tomorrow to meet the improving Russian Anastasia Potapova. The 22-year-old Potapova eliminated No. 23 Qinwen Zheng 6-4, 7-6(7-4).
“It’s going to be really tough,” Pegula said of facing Potapova. “I just played her in Indian Wells and we really had a battle. She was playing at a really high level. She has been, for the last two, three tournaments she’s been playing well. She’s confident right now, she’s swinging for the fences.
“I think she probably likes these conditions a little fast. I’m going to take what I learned from playing her last time and I’m sure she’s going to do the same thing and we’re going to have a good match.”
Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina won her 11th straight match powering past 27-year-old Belgian veteran Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3. Rybakina smacked 10 aces, had three doubles and won 40/50 (80%) of first serves.
Mertens came out with a break to lead 4-3 before Rybakina ran off six straight games to go up a break in the second.
“It was a really tough match today,” Rybakina said. “Again, I didn’t start the greatest, but happy that it was in two sets.
“For sure, physically I’m not the freshest, but I’m happy that I’m managing and finding my way. To be in the quarterfinal is great, and hopefully I’m going to play better tomorrow.”
Rybakina will now face the Italian Martina Trevisan who took out 24th-seeded and former finalist Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3.
No. 15 Petra Kvitova toppled Russia’s Varvara Gracheva in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(7-5). She’ll now face another Russian in Ekaterina Alexandrova who was up 7-6, 0-2 on Bianca Andreescu when the Canadian suffered a left ankle injury.
The two had resumed with Andreescu up 2-0 in the first following a lengthy two hour rain delay. Andreescu left in tears in a wheelchair. She had been playing so well and now yet another injury.
Aryna Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova also began late due to the rain but the Belarussian made quick work with a 6-3, 6-2 win. Sabalenka lost just 10 total points on serve. She’ll face Romanian veteran Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Cirstea defeated Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(7-3), 6-4.
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