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Tennis: Swiatek, Rybakina prevail; Sabalenka, Jabeur ousted in Miami second round

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Tennis: Swiatek, Rybakina prevail; Sabalenka, Jabeur ousted in Miami second round

Florida, March 24 (IANS) In the 100th WTA 1000 match of her career, World No.1 Iga Swiatek of Poland powered to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi in the second round of the Miami Open.

With Saturday’s win, the Pole reached the 81-19 mark in her first 100 WTA-1000 matches, tying Maria Sharapova and only behind Serena Williams (87-13).

Swiatek, who had a first-round bye, has not lost her opening match at any tournament since 2021 Cincinnati. She now takes on Linda Noskova, with whom she holds a 2-1 score overall in three previous matches played. This will be their third meeting in the 2024 season:

The 19-year-old Czech prevailed in a three-setter in the Australian Open, but Iga won in Indian Wells.

If Swiatek goes all the way to the title this week, she will become only the second woman to pull off the Sunshine Double (winning Indian Wells and Miami in the same year) two times, according to WTA.

Stefanie Graf is currently the only woman to have achieved the feat twice, in 1994 and 1996. Swiatek got her first Sunshine Double in 2022.

Meanwhile, No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan hold off American qualifier Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 6-4 to advance to the Round of 16.

A finalist here last year, Rybakina will take on No.17 seed Madison Keys next. The American advanced with a 6-4, 7-6(7-5) win over Wang Xinyu.

There was an upset bug on Saturday as World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and No.6 Ons Jabeur bowed out of the Miami Open.

Anhelina Kalinina earned the second Top 5 win of her career after defeating Sabalenka 6-4,1-6, 6-1 in the third round.

Jabeur, however, lost in the second round to Elina Avanesyan 1-6, 6-4,3-6. The victory is Avanesyan’s second Top 10 win of the season after the 21-year-old notched her first in January over Maria Sakkari.

Britain’s Katie Boulter also surfed the wave of upsets, defeating No.11 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 6-3. She will face Victoria Azarenka in the Round of 16 after the three-time champion bested No.7 seed Zheng Qinwen 6-4, 7-5.

–IANS

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