BARTY BOOKS FIRST SPOT IN QUARTERFINALS, JOINED BY KVITOVA, KONTAVEIT, AND HSIEH
By Tucker Verdi
Miami Gardens, FL — The top half of the women’s draw at the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú has been sorted out, with four women advancing to the quarterfinals by the end of the afternoon on Monday.
No. 12 seed Ashleigh Barty was the first to book a spot, upending No. 7 seed Kiki Bertens in a come-from-behind win in the fourth round of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. It is her first Miami Open quarterfinal, and her first appearance in the quarterfinal of a WTA Premier Mandatory event.
Barty, the 22-year-old Australian No. 1 who is affectionately known as “Ash,” got off to a hot start, using her forehand to take control of points and leaping out to a 3-0 lead. However, Bertens stormed back to win six of the next seven games. Barty eventually found steady ground to win the second and third sets decisively and maintain her undefeated record against the Dutch player at 4-0.
“Whenever I play Kiki, there’s really not much in the match at all,” Barty said after her win. “For a span of six or seven games there, she maybe gave me one or two errors. She really went into lockdown mode… and I went into lockdown mode myself.”
The next quarterfinalist was decided when No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova bounced No. 19 seed Caroline Garcia in convincing fashion, 6-3, 6-3, in the first match on Stadium Court of the day. Kvitova, who only faced one break point the entire match, reaches just her second quarterfinal at the Miami Open.
Play was halted due to rain with Kvitova only a game away from sealing the match, and it remained suspended for over two hours before the players were able to get back out on the court.
“I think I played a great match from the beginning, which I’m very pleased with,” Kvitova said during her press conference. “Of course with the rain delay, it always makes some troubles… it’s always kind of different and difficult coming back to the court. I felt pretty tight in those two games [after the delay], and I’m very glad that I was able to finish it with good serves in the last game.”
Kvitova and Barty will face each other for a spot in the semifinal in Miami. It will be a rematch of another quarterfinal they played — at the 2019 Australian Open in January, which Kvitova won easily, 6-1, 6-4. That win is one of four the Czech left-hander has over Barty, while Barty has yet to beat the two-time Wimbledon champ.
Anett Kontaveit, seeded 21st, is quarterfinal-bound following the retirement of Bianca Andreescu during their fourth round match with Kontaveit up 6-1, 2-0. The limited time on court is a welcome relief to the Estonian, who finished her third round match against Ajla Tomljanovic late Saturday night. She was asked how she felt coming into this match today.
“I felt fresh today. I mean, I had a whole day yesterday and I had a really light practice, so I feel like I recovered quite well. I was ready today.”
Kontaveit advances to her first Miami Open quarterfinal in her fifth appearance in the tournament. Her previous best result was the third round in 2017.
Andreescu — who won her first WTA title at Indian Wells last week — was forced to end the match early because of a right shoulder injury that had been nagging her all week. The recent run of success had caught up to her, and the tightness in her shoulder persisted.
“I tried to get as much treatment as I can,” Andreescu told the press afterwards. “I thought it would be okay but obviously it just got worse as the match progressed… I have played so many matches. I guess this is just a way of my body telling me that it’s had enough. It’s disappointing, but it’s part of the sport.”
Kontaveit will play No. 27 seed Hsieh Su-Wei, who outlasted No. 13 Caroline Wozniacki for a 6-3, 6(0)-7, 6-2 win in the fourth round. Hsieh was coming off an upset of World No. 1 Naomi Osaka in third round, and relied on her unusual style of play to frustrate and eventually wear down the 2018 Australian Open champion and former World No. 1.
The win only adds to Hsieh’s creed as an upset artist as she recorded her fourth top-15 win of 2019, having already beaten Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova before the wins against Osaka and Wozniacki.
The top half will play their quarterfinal matches tomorrow, get your tickets here!