Ash Barty goes distance, tops Victoria Azarenka to reach Miami quarters

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Ash Barty is hard to beat below 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 seventeenth 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 stated.

This, too, was cool: The match lived up to its showdown potential, with the reigning Miami Open champion and present world No. 1 in Barty going through somebody who has received the Miami title 3 times and a earlier world No. 1 in Azarenka.

Barty rolled within the first set, Azarenka within the second. But the third — as they have a tendency to be — was all Barty, who was by no means in bother within the deciding set.

“It’s just about staying in the fight,” Barty stated. “It’s about not relenting, not giving up regardless of whether you lose a set or you get a break, whatever it might be. I think it’s just about trying to hang around and I’ve worked my backside off off the court to make sure that I feel like I’m good physical condition to play tennis.”

Another three-set win went to fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who wanted practically 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.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, returns to Ashleigh Barty of Australia, through the Miami Open tennis match, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

“It was not easy conditions,” stated Svitolina, who has already matched her greatest Miami end by making the quarters. “I was trying to fight, trying to find a way, one extra ball over the net.”

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, 6-3, 6-3.

Naomi Osaka Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns to Elise Mertens, of Belgium, through the Miami Open tennis match, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

“I’m not the type of player that really needs that many tournaments to feel a groove,” Osaka stated.

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 therapy on the world under her proper shoulder.

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

Sakkari fended off six match factors and received 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (6).

On the boys’s aspect, Sebastian Korda of the U.S. received his second consecutive win over a seeded foe, this one a 6-3, 6-0 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 one in every of 4 U.S. males within the spherical of 16 at Miami. His father, Petr Korda, performed within the occasion 10 instances at its former Key Biscayne dwelling and made the spherical of 16 on 4 events.

“It’s cool and it’s been super-special for sure,” the youthful Korda stated of getting Miami success.

No. 26-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland upset sixth-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (6). Shapovalov was clearly pissed off with some calls that the Hawk-Eye Live know-how — the system that replaces reside strains judges with cameras — noticed a technique and he noticed one other method.

“We’re getting used to that, that Hawk-Eye life,” Hurkacz stated. “It’s a little bit different.”

No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece topped No. 28 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Tsitsipas meets No. 24 Lorenzo Sonnego of Italy, a 7-6 (6), 6-3 winner over Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia.

In different third-round males’s matchups, Schwartzman defeated Twenty fifth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France 6-1, 6-4; Twelfth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada topped Twentieth-seeded Ugo Humbert of France 6-4, 7-5; and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-4.

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 (told) me, ‘I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to see you,’” Rublev stated.

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