Saturday’s Set Points, WTA Miami: Radwanska and Azarenka to meet in the last 16

Magic Monday Miami style is beginning to take shape with the first four last 16 matches locked in after Saturday’s third round results. I have been busy the last few days so took a break from writing. I spent Friday evening making a bakewell tart for my friend’s birthday. My tennis club nights are back next week (yay) but apart from that I am hoping to blog up to the end of Miami. Read on for six stories from the Miami Open.

Radwanska stuns Halep

Agnieszka Radwanska scored her first win over a world number one since 2012 (via Tennis Abstract) with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 win over Simona Halep. I did not see this result coming at all based on Radwanska’s form this year. Radwanska looked in control of her game and was mostly solid. Halep has been battling hard for wins during the Indian Wells-Miami double. Her level has been mostly unconvincing in March. I liked that she was trying to dictate against Radwanska and come forward. Halep though looked awkward at the net and made a lot of uncharacteristic errors. The break will probably do Simona good with clay on the horizon!

Azarenka finds a way

In an entertaining clash between two sound tacticians on court, Victoria Azarenka came from a set down to beat the number 20 seed, Anastasija Sevastova, 3-6 6-4 6-1. This was a quality win for Azarenka and her level has been very impressive considering the few matches she has played in 2018. I always admire her ability to turn a match around and she did that here, recovering from a so-so first set where she made a few too many errors. Azarenka plays Radwanska in the last 16 which will be fascinating.

Drop shot lob combo at its finest

Sevastova is a joy to watch when she’s in full trust of her game and mentally engaged. She has proven a tough match for many quality players already in 2018. Her negative attitude on court can be baffling at times – she looked like she was about to cry after WINNING the first set!

Wang Yafan’s best tournament

I caught the end of Wang Yafan vs. Alison Riske before bed – it was super entertainment! Wang Yafan missed a pair of match points serving for the match at *5-4 and *6-4. She showed plenty of resilience to eventually prevail in the third set tiebreak, 4-6 6-3 7-6(4). Riske played the match points really well. The American had a chance to level up at 5-5 in the tiebreak but missed what looked like a regulation putaway having successfully made her way to the net. Someone shouting out in the crowd during the point likely didn’t help.

It’s been a great week for Wang Yafan who has knocked out Marketa Vondrousova and Carla Suárez Navarro for her best run at a big WTA tournament. Next up is Angelique Kerber in just her second match against a top ten player.

MONICA NICULESCU

It was Sloane Stephens who ultimately prevailed via retirement in what sounded like a cracking third round clash. I enjoyed watching back the highlights (perhaps one to watch back in full?!). The point linked below is wild.

Lucie on the mend!

Really happy to see Lucie confirm she will start training. Wondering if Charleston will be too soon to return?

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2 thoughts on “Saturday’s Set Points, WTA Miami: Radwanska and Azarenka to meet in the last 16

  1. I did not see the Aga/Halep match and it is possible that Halep was not at her best but I am hoping that this is a sign of a return to some decent form from Aga. See that she has Azarenka next though which will not be easy. I note that they have not played against each other since 2014…..time goes so fast as it does not seem that long ago !.

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    • No. Vika will no doubt be keen to forget that match (in the Australian Open) as Aga played some truly stellar tennis against her, especially in the final set. I think the score will be closer this time but Aga will still win.

      In other news, good to see Monica Puig playing well again; this is pretty much a home tournament for her as although she’s from Puerto Rico she’s lived in Miami for years and has a lot of fans there.

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