WTA

Katie Boulter through to third round in Miami after Brenda Fruhvirtova retires

By Sports Desk March 21, 2024

Katie Boulter reached the third round of the Miami Open for the first time after opponent Brenda Fruhvirtova retired with illness.

The British number one, who received a first-round bye as the 24th seed, was leading 7-6 (5) 1-0 15-0 when 16-year-old wild card Fruhvirtova, who appeared to be struggling with the heat, headed to her chair.

The young Czech, who was short on tennis coming into the tournament having been under the weather, called the doctor for the first time leading by a break of serve at 5-4 in the opening set.

Boulter eventually took the set in a tie-break and had broken to start the second before Fruhvirtova called the doctor again and then decided she could not continue.

She is not the first player to struggle in Miami this week, with Frenchman Arthur Cazaux collapsing on court during a qualifying match, while Matteo Berrettini looked close to fainting against Andy Murray on Wednesday.

Boulter had made a shaky start and admitted she found it hard to concentrate amid her opponent’s difficulties, telling Sky Sports: “I actually think it’s one of the toughest things to do.

“Halfway through the match I’m seeing her coaches telling her to pull and then she’s not, so obviously there’s a lot going on. One minute she’s struggling to put the ball in the court and the next she’s running 10 shots side to side so it’s a tough mental game.

“For me it was challenging today and I probably wasn’t the kindest to myself but we live and learn.”

Related items

  • Zverev struggles with grass-court transition but overcomes Otte at Halle Open Zverev struggles with grass-court transition but overcomes Otte at Halle Open

    Alexander Zverev avoided a first-round upset at the Halle Open after battling past fellow German Oscar Otte on Tuesday.

    The second seed managed to triumph in his first match since the French Open final defeat to Carlos Alcaraz, eventually winning 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4.

    Zverev has twice reached the show-piece at this event, in 2016 and 2017, though acknowledged challenges remain with adapting from the clay-court surfaces at Roland-Garros.

    "A week ago, I was playing on clay still basically," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "He made it very tough for me, no rhythm at all.

    "That's how grass-court tennis is sometimes and I'm just happy with the win.

    "He did make it extremely difficult for me, so credit to him. I'm obviously happy that I won and hopefully, it's going to be a level above in the next match."

    The world number four is now 35-10 for the season and will look to extend that record when he meets Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the next round.

    Zverev has won all three head-to-head meetings with Sonego, and will fancy his chances if he delivers another heavy-hitting performance next time out.

    The 27-year-old smashed 54 winners, compared to his 40 unforced errors, to triumph in just over two hours under the OWL Arena roof.

    Stefanos Tsitsipas also began his grass season with victory, defeating home hopeful Henri Squire 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-2).

    The Greek sixth seed will face Luciano Darderi or Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

  • Murray celebrates 1,000th ATP match with Queen's triumph over Popyrin Murray celebrates 1,000th ATP match with Queen's triumph over Popyrin

    Andy Murray celebrated his 1,000th match on the ATP Tour with a battling victory over Alexei Popyrin at the Queen's Club Championships on Tuesday.

    The 37-year-old became the fifth active male player to hit quadruple figures for tour-level matches, marking the milestone with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory to snap a four-match losing streak.

    Murray holds the record for Queen's titles with five and will look to go deep in this tournament once more when he meets Australia's Jordan Thompson in the second round.

    The two-time Wimbledon champion acknowledged the struggles of his lengthy career after this first-round triumph, though suggested he did not know about the landmark moment until just before play.

    "I didn't realise, but my mum told me before the match that this was my 1000th match on the tour," Murray said in his on-court interview.

    "A lot of matches and a lot of wear and tear in the body and it is not easy but I managed to push through."

    Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco and Richard Gasquet are the other active men's players to hit the 1,000-match mark.

    That longevity has served well for Murray, who won his first match at the tournament in 2005 and holds a 32-9 record at the ATP 500 grass-court event since.

    "During the match, it is difficult but great reward at the end for the hard work and effort I put into the match," Murray added.

    "I have not got too many wins this year, it has been a difficult season but did well to come through in the end. Held quite a few tight service games and managed to serve it out well."

    Alex de Minaur overcame Murray at Queen's last year en route to the final before losing out to Carlos Alcaraz, who also secured the Wimbledon title after.

    Yet De Minaur will not have the chance to make the showpiece of the Wimbledon warm-up this time around, after losing out to Lorenzo Musetti.

    The Italian swept the second seed aside with a 1-6 6-4 6-2 victory, teeing up a second-round meeting with Brandon Nakashima.

  • Osaka beaten by inspired Zheng serving display at Berlin Open Osaka beaten by inspired Zheng serving display at Berlin Open

    Naomi Osaka bowed out of the Berlin Open after falling short in a three-set thriller against an inspired serving display from Zheng Qinwen.

    The former world number one battled, but ultimately came up short for the second time in two weeks, enduring a 6-4 3-6 6-3 defeat. 

    The Japanese found herself a set down following a break point claimed in the fifth game by her opponent but rallied in the second to take the encounter to a deciding set. 

    However, Zheng, who served 10 aces in the final set, proved too powerful for Osaka to secure a second victory over the Japanese after two hours and 10 minutes at the Steffi Graf Stadium.

    Zheng will play Katerina Siniakova in the last 16 on Wednesday, with either Jessica Pegula or Donna Vekic awaiting should she progress. 

    Data Debrief: Acing it

    The victory for Zheng saw her serve 23 aces against Osaka, the highest tally in a single WTA match since Rebecca Marino vs Caroline Garcia in Guadalajara in 2022 (24).

    Her success with her serving saw Zheng win 88 per cent of her first serve points, winning 44 of 50 during the match. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.