Miami Open: Ashleigh Barty goes distance, tops Azarenka to achieve quarters

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Ashleigh Barty returns a shot throughout her fourth spherical match towards Victoria Azarenka on Day eight of the 2021 Miami Open. 

Ashleigh Barty is hard to beat beneath any circumstances, particularly when she’s on the ropes.

She proved that once more Monday.

The world’s top-ranked participant has reached the Miami Open quarterfinals, getting there by holding off 14th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. It was Barty’s 17th win in her final 20 three-set matches, two of these victories for the Australian coming thus far on this match.

“That’s a cool stat,” Barty mentioned.

This, too, was cool: The match lived as much as its showdown potential, with the reigning Miami Open champion and present world No. 1 in Barty dealing with somebody who has gained the Miami title thrice and a earlier world No. 1 in Azarenka.

Barty rolled within the first set, Azarenka within the second. However the third — as they are usually — was all Barty, who was by no means in bother within the deciding set.

“It’s nearly staying within the battle,” Barty mentioned. “It’s about not relenting, not giving up no matter whether or not you lose a set otherwise you get a break, no matter it is perhaps. I feel it’s nearly making an attempt to hold round and I’ve labored my bottom off off the court docket to ensure that I really feel like I’m good bodily situation to play tennis.”

One other three-set win went to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who wanted almost 2½ hours to beat ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 and earn her ticket to the quarterfinals.

“It was not straightforward situations,” mentioned Svitolina, who has already matched her greatest Miami end by making the quarters. “I used to be making an attempt to battle, looking for a manner, one additional ball over the web.”

Barty will subsequent face No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka, a 6-1, 6-2 winner over No. 19 seed Marketa Vondrousova. Svitolina will play unseeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia within the quarters; Sevastova was a 6-1, 7-5 winner over wild-card Ana Konjuh of Croatia.

No. 2 girls’s seed Naomi Osaka of Japan ran her profitable streak to 23 matches and moved into the quarters by topping No. 16 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium, 6-Three, 6-Three.

“I’m not the kind of participant that basically wants that many tournaments to really feel a groove,” Osaka mentioned.

Osaka wasted six set factors earlier than lastly ending off Mertens to win the opening set; she wanted 5 break factors earlier than cashing in to go up 2-1 within the second. Mertens later wanted a medical timeout that lasted about 10 minutes whereas she left the court docket to get remedy on the realm beneath her proper shoulder.

She didn’t win one other sport; Osaka casually munched on a banana and took a couple of serves whereas ready for Mertens to return, then cruised the remainder of the best way. Osaka subsequent meets No. 23 Maria Sakkari of Greece, who gained a 2-hour, 38-minute marathon over No. 29 Jessica Pegula of the U.S.

Sakkari fended off six match factors and gained 6-Four, 2-6, 7-6 (6).

On the lads’s aspect, Sebastian Korda of the U.S. received his second consecutive win over a seeded foe, this one a 6-Three, 6-Zero romp previous No. 17 Aslan Karatsev of Russia. Korda’s reward is a matchup with No. 5 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina within the spherical of 16.

Korda is certainly one of 4 U.S. males within the spherical of 16 at Miami. His father, Petr Korda, performed within the occasion 10 occasions at its former Key Biscayne dwelling and made the spherical of 16 on 4 events.

“It is cool and it has been super-special for certain,” the youthful Korda mentioned of getting Miami success.

No. 26-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland upset sixth-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-Three, 7-6 (6). Shapovalov was clearly pissed off with some calls that the Hawk-Eye Stay expertise — the system that replaces reside strains judges with cameras — noticed a method and he noticed one other manner.

“We’re getting used to that, that Hawk-Eye life,” Hurkacz mentioned. “It is somewhat bit totally different.”

No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece topped No. 28 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-Three, Three-6, 6-1. Tsitsipas meets No. 24 Lorenzo Sonnego of Italy, a 7-6 (6), 6-Three winner over Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia.

In different third-round males’s matchups, Schwartzman defeated 25th-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France 6-1, 6-Four; 12th-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada topped 20th-seeded Ugo Humbert of France 6-Four, 7-5; and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-Three, 6-Four.

Cilic will meet fourth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia subsequent. Rublev rolled previous Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-2, 6-1 — beating him head-to-head for the third time within the final 22 days, and that doesn’t even embrace a walkover victory over Fucsovics in Qatar in that span.

“Marton (advised) me, ‘I don’t need to see you. I don’t need to see you,'” Rublev mentioned.

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