Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff stumble at Miami Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 26 Mar, 2024 at 04:28 AM

Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland and third-seeded Coco Gauff of South Florida both lost in the Miami Open's round of 16 on Monday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

No. 23 seed Caroline Garcia topped Gauff 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 before No. 14 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia downed Swiatek 6-4, 6-2.

Alexandrova beat a player ranked No. 1 for the first time, and she moves on to the quarterfinals in Miami for the second year in a row. She improved to 2-3 in her career vs. Swiatek, having lost the previous three meetings.

"We played quite a few times before and sometimes it was three sets," Alexandrova said. "I think sometimes I was quite close to it but still far away. Winning against her, of course it feels great. I'm not sure if it's a surprise or not, but I just worked quite hard on the court and it paid off."

Alexandrova, who saved the only break point she faced, advances to face fifth-seeded Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals. In an all-U.S. matchup, Pegula defeated 20th-seeded Emma Navarro 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Garcia, a first-time quarterfinalist at the WTA 1000 event, saved five of seven break points while breaking Gauff's serve three times in five opportunities.

"It's definitely a great match and great win for me," Garcia, from France, said after the match. "Last couple of months have not been easy, and definitely today, following the match of yesterday, it means a lot. It was some great tennis."

Garcia -- who beat another Grand Slam winner in Japan's Naomi Osaka in the previous round -- will face Danielle Collins in the quarterfinals.

Garcia absorbed eight aces by Gauff, including four in the second set when Gauff raced to an easy win. But in the first game of the third set, Garcia saved four break points before finally breaking through on the fourth deuce.

She cruised from there to win her third straight meeting with Gauff, improving to 3-2 in their head-to-head series.

"We had some good battles in the past, and I always try to go as much as I can with confidence and conviction in my shots," Garcia said.

"To have a (previously) tied record with Coco gives me confidence that I have to go for it. ... I tried to take as much time away as I can against her."

Collins, who is from Florida and retiring at year's end, ousted No. 19 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-2 on Monday.

The highest-seeded player to win Monday was Kazakh fourth seed Elena Rybakina, who defeated No. 17 Madison Keys 6-3, 7-5. In the quarters, Rybakina will draw No. 8 Maria Sakkari of Greece, who won via walkover against 22nd seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia.

No. 27 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus topped No. 24 Katie Boulter of Great Britain 7-5, 6-1, and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan beat Ukrainian No. 32 Anhelina Kalinina 6-4, 7-6 (5).

--Field Level Media