Sunday’s Set Points wraps up the second half of third round matches at the Miami Open. There were only seven matches after Serena Williams’s withdrawal on Saturday. The matches didn’t move me as much as Friday and I was generally bummed out by Venus-Dasha (more in this post). I’m hoping for some crackers on Magic Monday Miami style! Read on for six stories in Sunday’s Set Points post.
Wang vs. Wang set for R4 in Miami
Wang Yafan won 11 of the last 13 games to beat last year’s Miami semi-finalist, Danielle Collins, 7-5 6-1. Wang had fewer ups and downs in the match compared to Collins and was increasingly assertive in the second set. Collins was defined by her struggles on serve – the American player won less than half the points behind her first serve and was broken in five of her last seven service games. The American asked her coach in the first set what was technically wrong with her serve so she knew it wasn’t normal – she seemed to be decelerating on it?
Next up in the fourth round – Wang Yafan against Wang Qiang!
Putintseva’s 3rd top 20 win of 2019
Winning the last four games and converting on her fourth match point, Yulia Putintseva beat Anastasija Sevastova, 1-6 6-2 6-3. I thought Sevastova was going to win this when she played an aggressive game to break to *3-2 in the decider. From there on, Sevastova was not able to exert her authority and became increasingly error-strewn against a surprisingly steady, Putintseva. In the battle of the drop shots, it was Putintseva who came out on top including one beauty on a return.
Venus Williams cruises past struggling Kasatkina
Venus Williams went a perfect eight out of eight on break points as she powered past a struggling, Daria Kasatkina, 6-3 6-1. Kasatkina didn’t hold serve once during the match. The American, who had her shoulder heavily taped, struggled herself on serve early days, but was generally given so much time on the ball. Williams was able to dominate with her lethal forehand.
It was a performance that showcased Kasatkina’s lack of belief and confidence right now. Kasatkina’s tactical awareness and decision making were alarmingly off towards the end. It’s really sad to see Dasha playing like this and I don’t know when and how it’s going to turn for her. Venus seemed to really enjoy this match and the support from the crowd. She gets a shot at Simona Halep in the last 16 who had a gruelling three set win against Polona Hercog.
Back-to-back last 16 showings for Vondrousova
Marketa Vondrousova is racking up the ranking points during the sunshine double as she beat Elise Mertens, 6-4 7-6(1) to reach the fourth round of Miami. Vondrousova played a poor game trying to serve out the match at 6-4 *5-4, but got into the tiebreak where she dominated it against a surprisingly erratic, Mertens. Vondrousova plays Tatjana Maria in the fourth round where she will be the favourite to make it back-to-back quarter-finals in March.
Venus’s press conference
This is probably the most talkative i’ve seen Venus in press in years!
Magic Monday polls
Miami’s Magic Monday will see all last 16 matches on the schedule. Who you got?