Saturday’s Set Points, Miami 2019 Day 4: Hsieh upsets Osaka, 10 straight wins for Andreescu

The line-up for Magic Monday in Miami is taking shape with half of the last 16 match-ups confirmed. Saturday’s line-up was much more enjoyable compared to Friday with the matches nicely staggered. I’ve just finished watching back Kerber-Andreescu and still need to tune into Kontaveit-Tomljanovic and Bertens-Kuzmova! Read on for a Set Points extra post with highlights from Saturday’s action in Miami.

MOTD 🎾

My favourite match was out on Grandstand court as Caroline Wozniacki held off a spirited charge from Monica Niculescu to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open. Wozniacki won, 6-4 7-6(4) in what was a surprisingly delightful contest. There were so many great rallies with both players spending the majority of their time up at the net.

Every time Niculescu looked down and out, we saw flashes of peak, aggressive Niculescu as she charged the net with authority… and success! I thought Wozniacki remained so, so steady and handled Niculescu’s slice well. I thought it was noteworthy how calm and focused Wozniacki was. There were very few showings of emotions from the Dane. Wozniacki finished with stats of 28 winners to just 16 unforced errors. The key stat – Woz won four out of four break points, while Niculescu went three out of 15.

A couple of hot shots linked below. Firstly, Niculescu produced one gorgeous drop shot lob combo off a return. Wozniacki retorted later on with an amazing re-lob! Wozniacki now extends the head-to-head lead over Niculescu to 10-0. This match was good preparation for the Woz who gets Hsieh next in the fourth round.

Match review 🎾

Bianca Andreescu made it TEN straight wins with ANOTHER three set victory over Angelique Kerber, 6-4 4-6 6-1. Andreescu went up a set and a break, once again opening up the court with so much authority and then going down-the-line. The first set was close and Andreescu played the big points better. I felt Kerber was still struggling with her depth again.

Andreescu failed to convert on a 6-4 4-1 lead in the second set as Kerber went into lockdown mode, landing more first serves and aiming a greater proportion of shots to the Andreescu backhand. Demonstrating her will to win and resilience (again!), Andreescu tore through the decider to win the ast five games. Andreescu increasingly went for the high, loopy ball to the Kerber backhand which was very effective against a tiring, Kerber. Andreescu upped the aggression and was successful with the drive volleys.

I would say that backing up an Indian Wells title in the next tournament is one of the toughest asks in tennis. What Andreescu is doing right now is just sadhhewhurquwihiusfaguie. I’ve run out of superlatives… πŸ€£πŸ‘

Shock result 😲

Take a bow, Hsieh Su-Wei! Hsieh earnt her second win over a world number with a come-from-behind victory over Naomi Osaka, 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3. It was a topsy-turvy encounter – the player who earnt the first break of each set ended up losing the set!

Improving after a sluggish start, Osaka upped her energy, footwork speed and aggression to win five straight games in the first set from 1-4 to 6-4. Osaka scored the early break in the second set and looked in control as she served for the match at 6-4 *5-4. There was definitely a sense of nerves/complacency as Osaka failed to serve it out against a very gritty, Hsieh.

I really enjoyed this match and their games just gel together to produce entertaining tennis. Hsieh became increasingly aggressive from the second set onwards. She hit deep into the corners and dragged Osaka from side-to-side. It was so effective because she was hitting the ball so, so early! Osaka grew more and more frustrated and reactive to what Hsieh was doing. The Japanese player looked exhausted by the end as Hsieh spun her web of bamboozlement (is that even a word πŸ˜‚).

Hsieh’s run at the Slams in 2018 was no fluke as she has continued to produce excellent results AND consistently. Hsieh has won six of her last 12 matches against top ten players (via Tennis Abstract). It’s such a special story that at 33 year olds, Hsieh is arguably enjoying the finest spell of her singles career. I just love watching Hsieh play tennis in this form.

Under the radar 🚨

Caroline Garcia is quietly having a great week with straight set wins over Victoria Azarenka and Julia Goerges. Garcia produced a serving masterclass to maintain her 100% record over Julia Goerges with a 6-0 7-5 victory. Garcia won 76% of all service points and saved all six break points faced including four serving at *5-5 in the second set. Goerges simply didn’t show up in the first set. The German player found her range in the second set, but couldn’t make a meaningful impact on the Garcia serve. Garcia just did everything a bit better.

Super stat πŸ”’

Via WTA Insider, an incredible streak from Naomi Osaka that ended on Saturday.

Drama 😲

The Andreescu-Kerber handshake took me by surprise. You can clearly hear Angie say at the net “biggest drama queen ever” 😬. It was a gruelling match that finished in the early hours of Sunday morning so I can understand Kerber not being in the best of the moods. Still, an unnecessary comment.

Best point 🎾

Finished with a sensational winner by Hsieh, this was one of many great points from Osaka-Hsieh.

Best shot 🎾

Kvitova’s serve and volley was damn good but Vekic came up with an even better passing shot winner. Petra with the racquet clap!

Super snap πŸ“Έ

Lovely picture by Jimmie48 Tennis.

Handshakes and hugs πŸ€—

A nice exchange between Petra Kvitova and Donna Vekic after Kvitova held on for a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory.

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13 thoughts on “Saturday’s Set Points, Miami 2019 Day 4: Hsieh upsets Osaka, 10 straight wins for Andreescu

  1. Well well well… I did say something wasn’t quite right with Andreescu. I’m seeing a lot of hate for Kerber for her comments, but it isn’t like Angie to be unnecessarily harsh. Would be great if she made a comment explaining what she meant by it.

    Loving Garcia right now. I think she has a genuine chance at beating Kvitova, who seems to be playing a decent B game (which is actually a relief to see she has one now). You’d think the courts would favour Caroline, but both women can go from great to bad or vice versa from one match to the next, so who knows?!

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    • Well… I think she was just tired and mad. Understandably so…Andreescu is a nice little drama queen, e.g. match against Sevastova at the AO (She’s a damn good player though and has a really watchable game!!!).

      However, I would have been totally mad and have been in the past while competing against people that are a little bit too dramatic. Most of the time you just leave it at that, congratulate your opponent and move on! But given the latenight finish and the fact of having lost a second time in 7 days, I can’t blame her. Nobody’s perfect.

      I just can’t stand the people making such a fuss about it when the men’s tennis is even more drama. They have a lot of stuff going on, throwing bad words around (e.g. Joao Sousa just recently), bad sportsmanship (e.g. Reilly Opelka just yesterday) and lose their shit all the time.

      But when a woman loses her shit, everyone judges (e.g. Serena US Open). THAT is sexism at its best. If people want to be mad at someone for bad sportsmanship, they are allowed to be mad. But they absolutely shouldn’t make a difference between men and women. That is just pathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • People seem to pick and choose who to hold accountable. Sharapova said much worse about Ivanovic in that Cincinatti final, and yet hardly anybody called Maria out at the time.

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      • Probably, yes. I just hope those players being accused of gamesmanship don’t give a shit about public opinion πŸ˜‰

        Enough of that now πŸ˜‰ let’s get back to tennis! I’m all in for Petra to claim the no. 1 spot. Fingers crossed! However, I don’t think she’s going to win it 😦

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      • I hope we get Garcia and Kvitova both playing well. Their previous matches (3 wins each) have been a case of one player just completely outclassing the other.

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      • I remember that Cincinnati match Andrew; Maria objected to Ana’s taking what she thought was an overly long medical break and said, “Are you going to check her blood pressure now?” I don’t think Ana ever forgave her for it.

        Murphy; AFAIK all Petra has to do to make the No.1 spot is to get to the final; she doesn’t need to win the tournament.

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      • Drama in men’s tennis? I can remember John McEnroe being defaulted a whole match for something he said to the (Swedish) umpire, and as I recall the general feeling about it at the time was relief that someone had finally stood up to him. It’s not so bad if there’s humour mixed in with it (Jimmy Connors used to imitate Wimbledon officials’ posh English accents when he was playing there – “Oh I say” etc.), but generally I think players should be expected to show some respect for their opponents and match officials.

        On a slightly different note, I found Angie’s comment at the net, after the match, disappointing; she’s getting to an age where she’s rightly going to be looked upon as an elder stateswoman of the game.

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      • Ha! There is a little touch of drama to her persona sometimes, but I think it’s also youthful exuberance. Angie just wasn’t having it, a bad day at the office for her. Her game matches up well to Angie’s, she is not a straight up power baseline hitter( hence no target). Ideally, you would expect Kerber to hold her tongue, but ish happens sometimes.
        I recall seeing games of Martina Hingis at 17 as she broke onto the seen. Granted she was kicking butt and taking names(slams), after reading some of the things she said, I used to think this girl really has some mouth on her. Oddly, I warmed up to her much better as her older self.
        I like Andreescu, personality wise she is not like Halep her idol nor does she have to be. Very much like Osaka is more ‘mousy’ and her idol Serena tells it like it is. She is trying to carve out a path for herself, and as long as the tennis is great, I’m on board. i’m in it for the tennis.

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      • Yes i’m on board with Andreescu, her game has something different. It’s a shame about the handshake drama as i’ve seen a lot of negativity around her. Agree about Andreescu not being a good match-up for Angie with not being a straight up power hitter!

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  2. Bianca’s the smartest 18 year old player i have ever seen. She has point construction skills that veterans never attain. There’s really no stopping her game. She’s got the serve, variety, power strokes, drop shots, and she thinks the game so well that most of her winners are based on court positioning and still hitting with plenty of margin. She doesn’t need to go for lines to hit winners. She simply constructs the point, waits for the opening, and hits the smartest winning shot nearly every time.

    I’ve always wondered what a player like Sue Hsieh or Niculescu would look like if you gave them alot of power, and that’s what Bianca is. Such a joy to watch

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    • Her and Bencic are almost clones of each other (they even look like sisters). But I do feel like Bianca is just that little bit better at almost everything (Bencic may have the better net game). Be interested to see how they both adapt to the clay.

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    • My hope being, it stays this way as she matures into the pros since she’s still got a little bit of growing up to come. However, I see her more from the opposite end, power player who curbs her enthusiasm with great all round play.

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