By Tucker Verdi
Eight more women secured their spots in the round of sixteen yesterday in a second week that is shaping up to be a tough one to predict here at the 2018 Miami Open.
After Caroline Wozniack’s defeat despite winning the first set 6-0, the theme so far should be never feel safe.
Venus Williams built a 5-0 in the first set of her match with No. 29 seed Kiki Bertens. Bertens, however, was not content with going down and won seven straight games to clinch the first set 7-5.
But the resilient Williams played a steady second set, claiming it 6-3.
In the final set, Bertens would take a 5-3 lead and Williams would fend off three match points to set herself up for the win. The 7-time Grand Slam champion smashed a forehand to seal the 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win in two hours and fifty-six minutes.
Williams, who typically does a twirl on court following wins, performed a triple-twirl of sorts in celebration of the emotional victory.
Williams will take on reigning Miami Open champion and No. 11 seed Johanna Konta, who breezed by Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.
World No. 4 Elina Svitolina dropped the first set 4-6 to Daria Gavrilova before turning the tables on the 24-year-old Russian-turned-Australian player. Svitolina advanced to the fourth round, winning the second and third sets 6-0 and 6-1, respectively. She will take on another Australian in Ashleigh Barty, who downed Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3.
Petra Kvitova beat back a fierce challenge from spunky young American qualifier Sofia Kenin, winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 2-time Czech Wimbledon champ did not play the kind of clean game that led her to those two titles, but overcame the 19-year-old with her powerful serve. She will face French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Hometown player Monica Puig, who hails from Puerto Rico but grew up in Miami, deepened her run in the tournament with a straight-sets win over Greek player Maria Sakkari 6-3, 7-5.
Puig defeated two Aussie Open winners in Sam Stosur and No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki to mark her first third round appearance at the Miami Open. Now, she’s onto the fourth round of a Grand Slam or Premier Mandatory event since Wimbledon 2013.
Puig will face American qualifier Danielle Collins, who overcame a first set loss to defeat Croatian Donna Vekic 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
For full match results, please visit miamiopen.com/2018-results.
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.
Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.