Day 5 in Miami saw a string of upsets in the bottom half of the women’s draw with eight seeds going out. However, there was a role reversal from Indian Wells with the two highest seeds, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza, both advancing having lost their openers in the desert. The top half of the women’s draw will be played on Saturday and for a preview of the late night match between Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina, click HERE. Here’s Set Points for Friday…
The match of the day between Garbiñe Muguruza and Dominika Cibulkova totally lived up to expectation; Muguruza was two points from the defeat but came fighting back for arguably her best win of the year, 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5 in two hours and 46 minutes. There were some brutal rallies, big winners and many, MANY momentum shifts. In the end, it was another tough loss for Cibulkova who had match point against Agnieszka Radwanska last week in Indian Wells. A pair of thunderous returns helped Muguruza break to 6-5 in a tight and tense third set, and she followed it up with some stellar serving to grab the victory.
Here are some great shots from Christopher Levy (@tennis_shots) on Twitter from the Muguruza-Cibulkova match.
Angelique Kerber picked up her first win on the WTA tour since her triumph in Melbourne… and she did it in style, thrashing Barbora Strycova, 6-1 6-1 in 63 minutes. Kerber finished with 15 winners to 15 unforced errors but the key stat was that she converted all six break point opportunities.
Naomi Osaka produced a stunning display to overwhelm Sara Errani, 6-1 6-3. Osaka didn’t drop a point on her serve in the first set. Errani made a comeback in the second set but Osaka settled again, winning the last two games with a myriad of winners. I’m excited to see how Osaka develops over the next few years because she is a big talent.
Osaka gets Timea Babos in the third round in a match-up that I find strangely compelling! Babos overcame Karolina Pliskova, 5-7 6-2 7-6(0) in a match that made literally no sense! Babos failed to serve out the match on THREE occasions but finished with a tiebreak bagel…
January 2016: Mladenovic beat Gibbs, 6-1 7-6(4) (Australian Open, R2)
March 2016: Gibbs d. Mladenovic, 6-2 6-4 (Miami, R2)
Gibbs’s progression this year has been quite remarkable. She didn’t drop serve once in Friday’s match against Mladenovic; after comfortably coming through the opening set, she broke serve in the very first game of the second set and held onto it from that point on. Gibbs plays Muguruza in the third round… interesting.
Roberta Vinci continues to tough out wins this year…
Vinci d. Jankovic, 3-6 6-2 6-4 (Brisbane, R1)
Vinci d. Babos, 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(4) (St. Petersburg, QF)
Vinci d. Kasatkina, 2-6 6-4 7-6(3) (Doha, R2)
Vinci d. Gasparyan, 6-3 6-7(7) 7-6(5) (IW, R2)
Andddd now add to that Vinci’s first result from Miami where she came from behind to defeat Lucie Hradecka, 1-6 6-4 7-6(5).
Elena Vesnina won her third match against Venus Williams, beating the American, 6-0 6-7(5) 6-2. It was a fun match with peak Vesnina showing up in the first set. Venus showed her battling qualities to nick the second set, having saved a match point, but Vesnina was just too strong in the decider.
Irina-Camelia Begu inflicted further misery upon Sabine Lisicki, winning through, 6-4 1-6 7-6(2) in a totally wackadoodle match. Hugs to all Sabine fans…
In other seeded casualties…
CoCo Vandeweghe defeated the number six seed, Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-4, 6-2 – CSN didn’t look 100% from the ankle injury she picked up at Indian Wells but another superb performance by Vandeweghe.
Kiki Bertens took out the number 25 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1 4-6 6-1 – Pavs is now on a four match losing streak, while Bertens is up to 21 match wins for the year.
Magda Linette reached the third round after Jelena Jankovic retired just one game into their second round match with a shoulder injury.
Timea Bacsinszky answered some questions on the Miami Open Facebook page. She talked about her injuries last year, her favourite tournament, her favourite slam and why Swiss tennis is thriving (haha at her response). Timea is so thoughtful in her responses and I love her perspective on tennis and life. She’s a star 🙂
And finally, i’m cracking up again because of WTA Reactions hahaha