The quarter-finals of the 2022 Miami Open are in the books. It was a pretty dishy line-up on paper andddd… it certainly didn’t live up to expectation. Jeeps Miami has been a rough tournament this year. But again, please do still read on for my thoughts about the four quarter-finals 🤣. I don’t want to get too excited (I ALREADY AM) but there is a potential final that could end this tournament on a huge high.
Tuesday’s quarter-finals in Miami were over in a flash. From a positive viewpoint, we saw two players in excellent form which is an exciting prospect for the semi-finals. From a negative viewpoint, they were forgettable matches. The first of the quarter-finals was a first meeting in nearly seven years between the number 22 seed, Belinda Bencic and the wild card, Daria Saville. Bencic won, 6-1 6-2, and has now dropped just 17 games in four matches!
Bencic was in control of this quarter-final from start to finish. Saville was a bit flat by her standards, perhaps not helped by the subdued atmosphere and having played out a three hour epic with Lucia Bronzetti on the Monday. In Dasha’s own words on Twitter, she was fried!
Saville gave Bencic too many looks at second serves and was leaving the ball short in the court which allowed Bencic to step in and dictate. Bencic was teeing off on everything and hit some wonderful drive volleys. It’s easy to overlook this quarter-final scoreline for the bigger picture. Saville is projected to break back into the world’s top 130! Quite an achievement considering she was at #627 in the rankings at the start of February.
Next up for Bencic is Naomi Osaka who has also been in superb form. Osaka beat the number nine seed, Danielle Collins, 6-2 6-1. There are two sides to the story. Osaka barely put a foot wrong and was pretty immense. Collins was clearly hindered again by the neck injury (she took a medical time-out in her third round match against Zvonareva for the same issue) and even resorted to an underarm serve towards the end of the match. A real shame because I had high sky high hopes for this as a contest.
Wednesday’s quarter-finals were a duo of ding ding ding first time meetings. The first one sadly ended after just five games. The number 16 seed, Jessica Pegula advanced via retirement for the second straight match when the number five seed, Paula Badosa pulled the rip cord with Pegula leading 4-1 in the first set. Pegula had been dominating the rallies and finishing beautifully with down-the-line winners. It was clear something wasn’t right with Badosa who shared on Twitter afterwards that she had been ill for the past few days.
And finally, in the last of the quarter-finals which was the most competitive of the four (not difficult 😂), the number two seed, Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 15 with a 6-3 6-3 victory over the number 28 seed, Petra Kvitova. I thought Petra actually started well. It was going to take something special, a peak Petra display to topple Swiatek and her level was naturally up and down. The thing that stood out to me was how Swiatek kept Kvitova at bay on serve. Kvitova went big on return but missed sooo many and simply didn’t land enough returns in court. Another supreme display from Swiatek. Not enough superlatives to throw at Swiatek for what she is doing right now. The Sunshine Double is still on…
A nice moment between Pegula and Badosa at the premature ending of their quarter-final.
Recommended media 📺
Dasha is the best. Love her honesty.
SF Previews 📰
(22) Belinda Bencic vs. Naomi Osaka: This is a fascinating match-up because Bencic has won all three meetings at tour level. Osaka has always struggled with how early Bencic takes the ball. Both have been in brilliant form all week so on paper it should be a cracker! Tough one to call with the H2H. I’d go for Naomi to break the streak.
(2) Iga Swiatek vs. (16) Jessica Pegula: I thought this was a ding ding ding first time meeting but the pair have actually played before in Washington in 2019 where Pegula won, 5-7 6-4 6-1. Pegula hasn’t played a completed match since the third round so she’ll be fresh, yet not battle tested. I like Pegula, i’m interested to see how her game matches up against Swiatek. I feel like a fooool for going against Iga in the quarters so I won’t be taking any risks here. Swiatek for the win.