Set Points, Miami Open Day 6: Comebacks aplenty, Kuznetsova, Watson & Svitolina all rally to win

Day 6 of the Miami Open completed the last 16 match-ups for the top half of the women’s draw… and they are all decent! Saturday saw three come-from-behind victories including two more third set tiebreaks, of which there have been plenty in Miami. For Sunday’s order of play, two previews are up on Moo’s Tennis Blog for Muguruza v Gibbs (click HERE) and Babos v Osaka (click HERE). Here’s Set Points for Saturday…

Set Points

In the fifth women’s match this week to go to a third set tiebreak, Svetlana Kuznetsova eeked out the win over Caroline Garcia, 4-6 6-2 7-6(6). There really wasn’t much to call between the pair with Kuznetsova a touch more stable. Garcia showed great intent at coming forward and was impeccable on serve in the first set, but was too erratic with her forehand. Nice handshake…

And in the sixth third set tiebreak of the week, Elina Svitolina edged Caroline Wozniacki, 5-7 6-4 7-6(1) in two hours and 42 minutes. Wozniacki was two points away from the win, but Svitolina won 11 of the last 12 points. It’s another tough loss for Caro… hugs to her fans. My Twitter timeline wasn’t exactly in praise of this match!

Heather Watson scored her first ever over Yanina Wickmayer in a really gutsy performance, 3-6 7-5 6-3. I can’t help but feel for Wickmayer who looked the better player for much of the match but once again, just came up short. Watson showed tons of spirit, saving five break points across two service games at 4-4 and 5-5 in the second set. In the third set, she fought back from *0-30 down in two service games and saved two break points in another one. Watson produced a cracking cross-court winner to get the break in the third set and served it out to 15.

Simona Halep encountered some early resistance from Julia Goerges before rolling through 12 of the last 14 games to win, 6-4 6-1. There were many lengthy games including a six-deuce game when Halep served for the first set at *5-4. Halep gets Watson for a place in the Miami Open quarter-finals.

The first match of the day produced an “upset” as the number 30 seed, Ekaterina Makarova defeated the number eight seed, Petra Kvitova in straight sets, 6-4 6-4. Kvitova had led 4-1* in the first set and also had three break points at 4-3* 40-0*. Credit to Makarova who kept things solid, held her own and served out both sets at the first time of asking (not something that’s come easily for her this year). It was a superb win for Makarova but for Kvitova, it was always going to be a tough one as she struggles with the humidity in Miami because of her asthma.

Serena Williams had to work pretty hard to get past a game, Zarina Diyas, 7-5 6-3. I expected a one-sided match but credit to Diyas who came out with an aggressive gameplan. Serena lost her temper a little with the umpire, Kader Nouni early on…

Timea Bacsinszky continued her recent good form to overcome Ana Ivanovic in straight sets, 7-5 6-4. Bacsinszky rallied from 0-3 down in the first set and saved three set points from *4-5 *0-40 down. Ivanovic looked so tense as the set wore on and was breathing heavily at one of the changeovers in the first set. She also said “I want to throw up” after losing the first set but I couldn’t work out if she was describing the general situation as opposed to feeling ill! The first set was very entertaining to watch and Bacsinszky looks back to her best. The Swiss player will take on Radwanska in the fourth round… loving it!

Lucie Safarova won her first match of any kind in 2016, teaming up with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, aka Bucie, to defeat the pair of Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, 6-4 6-2. The pair will play Elena Vesnina and Daria Kasatkina in a fascinating second round doubles match.

And finally, here’s a funny video that Lucie posted on her Twitter page.


6 thoughts on “Set Points, Miami Open Day 6: Comebacks aplenty, Kuznetsova, Watson & Svitolina all rally to win

  1. Generally pleased. Ana had her chances and wasn’t able to take them. It sort of reminded me of her semi final at the French against Lucie.

    Soooo excited for a Serena vs Svetlana match because they are almost always GREAT matches. Kuznetsova will be SO up for this match and she has the game to bring Serena out of her comfort zone if she isnt 100%.

    I also really hope Svitolina can turn round her h2h vs Makarova. I dont believe shes won a set against her yet…


    • Haha thought you’d be pleased about Serena-Sveta 🙂 Intrigued by Svitolina-Makarova, hoping Svitolina can learn something from their previous matches and at least win a set but Makarova is tough.


      • I was sort of rooting for Garcia though. Just because she wants and needs it more.
        I only caught highlights of Svitolina vs Wozniacki which made it look like Elina played aggressively. But the scoreline tells otherwise.


  2. Again, Caroline loses out in a three set grinder. Not surprising, at this point she needs to overhaul her game play strategy. Ana was never going to get far here, not by playing like she is.

    Chuffed by Heather’s gutsy play. Dug in and found the win. Kudos.

    Svitolina, Makarova, I’m leaning towards Makarova.


  3. Emm… am I the only one ‘worried’ about Kvitova’s losses. Granted the humidity may have played a part, but she hasn’t been past the quarters this year. Lost to Zheng(China), Gravilova(Australia), Niculescu, Halep( both FEDcup), Brengle (Dubai),Ostapenko (Doha), Aga (IW) and Ekat (Miami).

    Even on her good days she does lose herself in games and you can’t be sure she will ‘safely land the plane’. Now that she has chosen to go on this journey to find herself, I think it is wise to keep my parachute on, with one eye on the exit door. This free flowing ,DIY, coach-less Petra bothers me. Looking at the pictures taken of her with Lucie, all smiles and playful at practice, it’s lovely and all, but I feel that is Lucie’s and Rob Stokely’s ‘gig’( having fun during coaching and practice) along with Bethannie. It works for them and Lucie is a great friend but I feel she needs a Mouratoglou type coach to ground her mentally.

    Maybe, I’m over reading her actions and things will pick up soon. I guess that means Rio Olympics with it’s tropical clime might also be a problem.


    • Interesting points about Kvitova. I think she showed some more encouraging signs in IW and Miami, particularly as these two tournaments don’t suit her game. She suffered with the stomach virus at the start of the year and dropping David as a coach, so it will take time to transition from the latter. She’s always been a streaky player and has these runs out of nowhere, but that has happened yet in 2016. I’m intrigued to see what step she takes next in regards to a new coach, she seems to be happy to go it alone for now…


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