Iga Swiatek Keeps Nerve To Fight Past Linda Noskova, Coco Gauff Advances In Miami

Mar25,2024



World number one Iga Swiatek kept her spirits up by defeating 26th-ranked Linda Noskova of Czech Republic 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-4 at the WTA Miami Open on Sunday. A day after Swiatek's nearest rival, Aryna Sabalenka, was eliminated from the tournament, the Pole faced a real test from Noskova. The Czech had upset Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open before the four-time Grand Slam winner got revenge in Indian Wells. The third meeting between the pair this year was, not surprisingly, a tense affair.

After recovering from a loss in the opening set tie-break and working hard to take the match into the deciding frame, Swiatek faced three break points while serving for the match at 5–4.

But he stepped up his game to win the next five points and celebrated by punching the side of his box.

Swiatek said, “It wasn't easy. There were just a lot of ups and downs. I'm glad that after the first set I had a better idea of ​​what to do, and I tried to do that in the important moments. Sometimes we had “Those matches happen and we need to figure out how to close them out.”

Swiatek, who is trying to become only the second woman to win the “Sunshine Double” of Indian Wells and Miami, will face 14th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the round of 16 on Monday. Alexandrova recorded a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

France's Caroline Garcia moved into a fourth-round match against world number three Coco Gauff with a 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over Naomi Osaka on Sunday.

It was a tough match in which the pair shared 28 aces and Osaka struggled to take the first set to a tie-break, saving three set points.

Garcia secured the tie-break with a forehand winner, but fell 4–2 to Osaka in the second game before breaking back.

When Osaka was serving at 5-all, Garcia took two break points and converted another.

Reigning US Open champion Gauff trailed 4-2 in the first set to France's Oceane Dodin, but then won 10 consecutive games to win 6-4, 6-0.

Gauff said she expected a tough game against Garcia.

“She's tough. We all know how she plays. Gets the ball very quickly, plays very aggressively,” he said.

Fifth-seeded American Jessica Pegula defeated Canada's Leyla Fernandez 7-5, 6-4 to set up a meeting with in-form compatriot Emma Navarro in the fourth round.

Fernandez took a 5-3 lead by a break in the first set, but Pegula responded brilliantly by winning four consecutive games to take the set.

Both players struggled to hold serve in the second set, with the first seven games being against serve, but Pegula eventually led 5–3 and held the final game to ensure victory.

Pegula will play the role of Navarro

Pegula, the highest-ranked American woman, will play against rising star of American women's tennis in Navarro, who defeated 12th-seeded Italian Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Paolini, who won the WTA 1000 Series event in Dubai earlier this year, faded after struggling in the second set, while Navarro confirmed her status as one of the most improved players on tour.

With her 20th match win of the season, a record bettered only by Swiatek, Navarro is enjoying the most successful campaign of her career, having won her first WTA title in Hobart in January.

Pegula said the confidence that comes from such results will make him a tough opponent.

“The feeling of winning a lot of matches, it's really hard to beat guys like that and even if you beat them it's never easy,” he said.

“It'll be a really good test for me to see where I'm at, considering he's probably one of the hottest players on the tour right now.”

The 20th seed's progress has impressed Gauff.

“Honestly, I'm not surprised by her getting into the top 20. I would say (and) probably how fast,” Gauff said.

“She's a great athlete. She's a very smart player, she's giving the top players trouble. She's not a player you want to see early in the tournament.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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