The Citizen (KZN)

Swiatek ousted at Miami Open


– World No 1 Iga Swiatek (above) was knocked out of the Miami Open after inspired Russian Ekaterina Alexandrov­a triumphed 6-4, 6-2 in their fourth round match on Monday.

The 16th seed Alexandrov­a played brilliant attacking tennis from the outset to beat the Pole and leave the WTA tournament without any of the top three seeds in the quarterfin­als, with Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff also out.

France’s Caroline Garcia upset world No 3 Gauff, beating the American 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 on Monday to advance to the quarterfin­als of the Miami Open, while world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka had been eliminated by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina on Saturday.

The match was the first in which Swiatek has not broken serve since her defeat to Ash Barty in Adelaide in January, 2022.

“I just feel disappoint­ed, for sure, because I thought I was going to play better here in Miami. But she played an amazing match and for sure was the better player out there today,” said the 22-yearold, four-time Grand Slam winner.

Swiatek said she had a hard time reading Alexandrov­a’s serve but felt that things just hadn’t clicked for her in the tournament.

“I was feeling that I couldn’t play in a natural way but it’s not like I always feel comfortabl­e on court. I thought I would be able to work through that,” she said.

Alexandrov­a laughed off the suggestion that she had played a perfect match but was certainly not going to downplay her performanc­e.

“It was such a great game for me in consistenc­y, the serve, the returns, the playing from the baseline, I think it was pretty good and I hope I can keep it for the next match,” she said.

Garcia, who had beaten fourtimes Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka in straight sets on Sunday, continued her inspired form as she defeated Gauff on her home court in one hour and 43 minutes.

After a thrilling encounter, which ebbed and flowed, Garcia, ranked 27th in the world, emerged to face a last-eight meeting with American Danielle Collins, who defeated Romanian Sorana Cirstea in straight sets.

Gauff, who hails from South Florida, was disappoint­ed not to have progressed further in front of a home crowd. “It is a tough loss,” she said,

“She played aggressive, which I knew coming in. I think it was important for me to just change the height of the ball.” –

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