Iga Swiatek progressed to her fourth WTA 1000 semi-final on Wednesday at the Miami Open, defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3.

After taking out tournaments in Doha and Indian Wells this year, the 20-year-old's undefeated streak now moves to 15 in a row.

Kvitova largely stayed in points in the opening exchanges and held a higher first-serve rate than Swiatek, but indicative of the form the Polish star is currently in, she played with clarity and did not hesitate when opportunities presented.

Along with winning six of eight points on Kvitova's second serve in the first set, the soon-to-be world number one converted on her sole chance at break point, claiming the crucial break in the sixth game before closing the opening set out.

After a tough service hold in the fourth game and four initial chances at break point in the second set, Swiatek made it count on her fifth attempt, spectacularly managing to move the 28th seed around the court and turn defence into attack.

Seeing the finish line, the Polish second seed grew increasingly assertive in both serve and shot selection to both secure the break and see out the match, even claiming a second break for a punctuation mark.

Swiatek will face Jessica Pegula, who is also through to the semi-finals after Paula Badosa retired from their matchup due to a viral illness.

Pegula was leading 4-1 after only 18 minutes of play when Badosa retired, having won four straight games after initially dropping her serve.

The 28-year-old has now won her last two matches in Miami via retirement after she advanced past Anhelina Kalinina in the fourth round, winning the first set 6-0.

If Pegula defeats Swiatek in the semi-final, it would make for her maiden WTA 1000 final appearance.

World number two Iga Swiatek showed why she is next in line to occupy the top ranking as she comfortably handled the challenge of 14 seed Cori Gauff 6-3 6-1 to earn a spot in the quarter-finals at the Miami Open.

Swiatek, 20, will become the first Polish-born man or woman to earn the number one singles ranking when it is next updated on April 4, after Ash Barty's retirement, and she never gave Gauff a chance.

She won all eight of her service games in the match, and broke Gauff's serve four times in eight chances to rattle off five consecutive games to close the match.

After a walkover in her last fixture, Naomi Osaka was strong on her way to a 6-3 6-4 win against Alison Riske.

Both women produced break points throughout the match, but while Osaka saved seven out of eight, coming back to double-break after her slip-up in the second set, Riske could only save nine of 12.

In a clash between top-10 seeds, Danielle Collins was terrific in her 6-2 6-4 win against Ons Jabeur.

The match was decided by each woman's success on their second serve, as Jabeur had the better first serve, but could only win 31 per cent of her second serves (8-26), while Collins was an even 73 per cent on both her first and second attempts.

Daria Saville continued her march back up the rankings with a 5-7 6-4 7-5 win against Lucia Bronzetti, making it nine wins from her past 10 matches for the Australian ranked 249 in the world after recently returning from a long-term achilles injury.

Saville will play Switzerland's Belinda Bencic after she breezed past Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-3, while Petra Kvitova got the better of higher-ranked Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

American Jessica Pegula was nearly flawless on her way to a 6-0 first set before Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina retired due to injury, while world number six Paula Badosa beat wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2 6-3.

 

Iga Swiatek was in a ruthless mood as she coasted into the last 16 of the Miami Open, setting up an intriguing clash with Coco Gauff.

Swiatek was in action for the first time since ensuring she will be top of the pile after the next WTA rankings update, and she certainly showed world-number-one form against Madison Brengle in a 6-0 6-3 victory.

The 20-year-old Pole needed just 25 minutes to win the opening set, during which she hit 12 winners to Brengle's one.

Brengle gave a better account of herself in the second set but Swiatek still had far too much for her, with the latter remaining on course to become only the fourth woman to win the so-called 'Sunshine Double' of Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

But certain expectations – particularly those relating to her ranking – are not what Swiatek wants to think about at the moment, especially while she is so content out on the court.

She said: "I know the ranking can be pressure, but on the other hand when I was climbing up and I entered top 10 and top five, I felt the same feeling, and right now I don't want to repeat that. So I just focus on my game.

"I don't know what's going to happen after the tournament and the adrenaline will go down and I have more time to stress about that a little bit more, but for now I feel great. It's not like it's bothering me, it's more motivating me. So it's great."

Gauff, competing in her local tournament, awaits after showing admirable spirit to beat Zhang Shuai 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.

The 18-year-old had to save two set points in the opener before rallying back and producing a devastating display in the tiebreaker.

She then came back from 4-2 down in the second, winning five of the final six games to seal a hard-fought victory.

Another teenager hoping to leave a lasting impression is 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, who became the youngest player to reach the fourth round in Miami since Maria Sharapova and Tatiana Golovin in 2004 – both were also 16.

Fruhvirtova was 6-2 3-0 up over Victoria Azarenka before the three-time Miami Open winner retired, giving the youngster her first top-20 scalp.

Jessica Pegula, Petra Kvitova and Paula Badosa were among the others to secure their progression on Sunday.

Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek has risen to world number one in the wake of Ashleigh Barty's retirement with a 6-2 6-0 win over Viktorija Golubic at the WTA Miami Open on Friday, sealing her ascent.

Swiatek, who won recent WTA 1000 events this year at Indian Wells and Doha, cruised to victory in one hour and 14 minutes over the Swiss.

The 20-year-old Pole, who won the French Open in 2020 and reached this year's Australian Open semi-finals, will officially become the top-ranked player when the rankings are updated on Monday April 4.

Barty's name will be removed from the rankings at her request having announced her shock retirement earlier this week at the age of 25, despite winning this year's Australian Open and last year's Wimbledon titles.

Swiatek is the 28th woman to reach the summit in the WTA rankings, becoming the youngest player at the top since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010. She will become Poland's first-ever number one in tennis history.

The Pole extended her winning streak to 12 matches against Golubic, taking her to a tour-high 21 wins this year, in a match where she saved eight of nine break points and took six of the nine she generated.

Swiatek's main immediate competition for the top rank was fifth seed Paula Badosa who got past Marie Bouzkova 7-5 7-5 in two hours and three minutes.

Badosa, who got the edge by grinding out games under pressure, will face Yulia Putintseva in the third round after she won 6-3 4-6 7-5 over Lesia Tsurenko.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari was bundled out of contention following a shock 4-6 6-1 6-2 loss to Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Two-time major winner Petra Kvitova needed three sets to get past Clara Burel, winning 6-1 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 45 minutes.

Jessica Pegula beat Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4, Cori Gauff got past Qiang Wang 7-5 6-4 and 20th seed Elise Mertens went down 7-5 2-6 6-1 to Linda Fruhvirtova.

World number five Anett Kontaveit slipped out of the Indian Wells Open after a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)  loss to Marketa Vondrousova.

Kontaveit was the second-highest seed remaining in the tournament entering Monday's play, and appeared to be on her way through to the fourth round after breaking twice in the opening set.

Yet Vondrousova got the better of her Polish opponent in a topsy turvy second set, forcing a decider that starter in frantic fashion, with a concession of serve in each of the opening five games.

Vondrousova held to end that street yet was pulled back to 4-4 by a resurgent Kontaveit, though the Czech world number 33 eventually closed the match out at the fourth time of asking in the tie-break to tee up a clash with Veronika Kudermetova.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova and former world number one Victoria Azarenka were both forced to withdraw from the WTA Qatar Ladies Open through injury on a day where the top seeds all cruised through in Doha.

Kvitova – who won the 2018 and 2021 editions of the tournament, beating Garbine Muguruza in the final on both occasions – was left unable to continue during her clash with Elise Mertens, later tweeting that an injury to her left wrist had flared up during the second set.

Her conqueror Mertens will face fourth seed and WTA St Petersburg champion Anett Kontaveit in the round of 16 after the Estonian's win over Ana Konjuh on Monday.

Meanwhile, Azarenka joined Kvitova in announcing her withdrawal through injury, suffering pain in her left hip ahead of her scheduled clash with American Madison Brengle.

The tournament's top seeds had more luck on a day of few surprises. World number two Aryna Sabalenka breezed to a 6-2 6-2 victory over France's Alize Cornet, with the Belarusian the favourite for the first WTA 1000 event of the year as world number one Ashleigh Barty is missing through injury.

Elsewhere, world number three Barbora Krejcikova made light work of Poland's Magda Linette, winning 6-1 6-3, and will face former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the round of 16, having eliminated the Latvian from last month's Australian Open.

Paula Badosa also recorded a straight-sets victory, seeing off Clara Tauson 6-1 6-2 to reach the last 16, where she will face 17-year-old American Cori Gauff, who defeated France's Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

There were also three-set wins for top-10 players Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, with Swiatek beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2 3-6 6-2, and Jabeur overcoming Aliaksandra Sasnovich 1-6 7-5 6-3.

In the final match of the day, world number six Maria Sakkari downed American Ann Li 6-3 6-3.

Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep both fell in the first round of the Qatar Ladies Open, while Garbine Muguruza and Anett Kontaveit eased through on Monday.

Former world number one Halep, champion in Qatar back in 2014, was off the pace as Caroline Garcia claimed just her second win in nine meetings against the Romanian with a 6-4 6-3 triumph.

Number 10 seed Svitolina also suffered an early exit after ending up on the wrong side of an almost three-hour slog, with Tereza Martincova eventually succeeding 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-5).

But fifth favourite Muguruza – a two-time finalist, including in 2021 – did not have much as trouble as she outfought Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in a second-round contest, with Kontaveit coasting through to round three in similar fashion with a 6-2 6-3 win over Ana Konjuh. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who is a former finalist in Doha and champion in Dubai last week, managed a sixth consecutive victory in the Middle East as she downed Oceane Dodin 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round, while 11th seed Elena Rybakina fell at the first hurdle to Jacques Cristian in a 6-4 6-3 loss.

Angelique Kerber, the 13th ranked player at the tournament, was another surprise first-round loser as she fell 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Jil Teichmann.

Cori Gauff secured her spot in the second round with a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory over American compatriot Shelby Rogers, while 16th seed Elise Mertens battled to a 6-3 2-6 7-5 win over Jasmine Paolini.

Meanwhile, defending champion Petra Kvitova had no trouble easing past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-1, and Daria Kasatkina edged out Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-2.

Two-time champion Simona Halep strode through to the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals with a 6-4 6-3 win over eighth seed Ons Jabeur on Thursday.

A series of upsets meant Jabeur was the only seed left in the tournament going into Thursday, but she was outfought by Halep, whose win-loss record in 2022 now stands at 11-1.

The result followed two years on from Halep beating Jabeur in the second round at the same tournament, on that occasion needing a third-set tie-break to get the better of the Tunisia. Halep went on to win the title on that occasion.

"It was a very tough match. Even if it's in two sets, it felt much harder than that," Halep said of Thursday's win.

"I had in my mind big time the match from 2020, it was so close and I knew I'd have to fight till the end."

Quoted on the WTA website, former Wimbledon and French Open winner Halep added: "I've been focused on what I have to do, and I wanted just to push Jabeur back because she has such a big game."

Halep will face Jelena Ostapenko in the last four after the big-hitting Latvian overcame Petra Kvitova 5-7 7-5 7-6 (11-9).

Kvitova led by a set and a break, and twice served for the match, yet Ostapenko prevailed to add the 2013 Dubai champion to the scalps of Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek this week.

Ostapenko, who triumphed in two hours and 39 minutes, has now reached at least the semi-finals in four of her last seven tournaments.

The other semi-final will be contested by Veronika Kudermetova and Marketa Vondrousova.

Kudermetova reached her third career WTA 500 semi-final after beating lucky loser Jil Teichmann 6-2 5-7 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes.

Vondrousova, meanwhile, became just the third ever qualifier to reach the last four of the tournament thanks to a 7-5 6-4 win over Dayana Yastremska.

Iga Swiatek, Simona Halep and Barbora Krejcikova had little difficulty progressing to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday. 

The unseeded Halep, who was champion in 2020, needed just an hour and 11 minutes to see off Alison Riske 6-2 6-4 as she looks to climb back up the rankings. 

The two-time grand slam winner went into this week ranked 23rd in the world after a difficult 2021 that was ravaged by injury, but she was in fine form against Riske. She showed good spirit to dig herself out of a hole in the second set and save two break points – the American's only ones in the entire match – in the fourth game. 

Swiatek, seeded sixth, was even more comfortable against Daria Kasatkina, defeating the Russian 6-1 6-2 in just 65 minutes. 

Kasatkina had no answer to Swiatek in the first set and, by the time she started to gain some form of momentum, she was already a set and a break down. 

Swiatek had few issues closing out the match and was joined in the second round by Petra Kvitova, who dropped just two games en route to an emphatic 6-2 6-0 defeat of Camila Giorgi. 

Krejcikova was the highest seed in action. The Czech, who lost to Garbine Muguruza in last year's final, was given a tougher examination than some of her rivals, with wildcard Caroline Garcia putting up a solid fight. 

Krejcikova came through 6-4 7-6 (7-0) in the end, blowing the Frenchwoman away in the second-set tie-break, though she will surely have to sharpen up if she is to go one better than 2021 – the 26-year-old hit just 12 winners to 28 unforced errors. 

There was also a victory for Jessica Pegula in an all-American affair with Coco Gauff that included 10 breaks of serve – the former won 6-4 6-4. 

 

Petra Kvitova crashed out of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, but Jelena Ostapenko is safely through to the quarter-finals.

Two-time grand slam champion Kvitova was comfortably beaten in straight sets by Irina-Camelia Begu, with the Romanian winning 6-4 6-0 in just one hour and nine minutes.

The effectiveness of the first serve was the main difference-maker, with Begu winning 73.1 per cent of her first-serve points, while Kvitova – who has 28 singles titles to her name in contrast to her opponents' four – could only manage 50 per cent.

Begu was set to face the winner of Tereza Martincova's tie with Elena Rybakina, but the latter withdrew because of illness.

Seventh seed Ostapenko made light work of Andrea Petkovic as she beat the German 6-1 6-2 in just 58 minutes, helped largely by winning 85.3 per cent of her first serves, as well as saving all five of the break points she offered up.

Ostapenko has now won two of her four meetings with Petkovic and will next face Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who eased to a 6-2 6-3 victory over Jaqueline Cristian.

Maria Sakkari, Jelena Ostapenko and Petra Kvitova all avoided upsets as the seeds continued to march on at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Tuesday.

Top seed Sakkari beat Anastasia Potapova 6-4 6-4 to advance to the last 16, while seventh seed Ostapenko was a 6-1 6-4 winner against wildcard Wang Xinyu.

Kvitova, the 2018 champion, took just an hour and nine minutes to see off qualifier Jule Niemeier 6-2 6-1, with the sixth seed and two-time former Wimbledon winner making a positive first appearance since being eliminated from the Australian Open in round one.

Sakkari, Ostapenko and Kvitova followed fellow seeds Anett Kontaveit, Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens - winners on Monday - in avoiding an early exit.

However, number four seed and home favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was forced to withdraw from the competition on Tuesday due to a knee problem.

Bernarda Pera replaced the Russian in the main draw and fell 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to Jaqueline Cristian, who will next face Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

That is after Sasnovich held firm to beat Magda Linette 7-5 4-6 6-4 in a tight contest, with a decisive break in the fifth game of the third set seeing her through.

Petra Kvitova was convincingly beaten to bow out of the Australian Open in straight sets in the first round on Tuesday.

The Czech 20th seed, a finalist in Melbourne in 2019, was crushed 6-2 6-2 by Romanian Sorana Cirstea on John Cain Arena.

Kvitova produced a staggering 39 unforced errors with just seven winners to bow out in 71 minutes.

It continued a mixed record at Melbourne Park for the two-time Wimbledon champion.

Kvitova has now bowed out of a grand slam in the first round 11 times – with four of those coming at the Australian Open.

Cirstea will face either Misaki Doi or Kristina Kucova in this year's second round.

The 31-year-old also beat Kvitova at the Australian Open last year – in the second round.

Ons Jabeur eliminated Petra Kvitova from the Sydney Tennis Classic and immediately set her sights on "payback" against next opponent Anett Kontaveit.

World number 10 Jabeur had lost her previous four meetings with Kvitova, but she emerged victorious on Wednesday with a 6-4 6-4 win to reach the quarter-finals.

Jabeur recovered from 3-1 down in both sets at Ken Rosewall Arena and converted half of her six break points on her way to setting up a meeting with Kontaveit.

The two will resume their friendly rivalry after Kontaveit overcame Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-1.

Jabeur lost out to Kontaveit for the last WTA Finals spot in November and is now seeking revenge in the final warm-up event ahead of the Australian Open.

"Anett is a great player. We had our moments last year," Jabeur said. "I told her, 'You're obsessed with me, you always follow me, so stop [smiling]'.

"I know the pressure is on me, not really on her. But maybe I can get some payback for last year."

Garbine Muguruza is also through to the last eight in Sydney thanks to a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) win against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The two-time major champion will face Daria Kasatkina, who beat Elise Mertens 6-3 6-4, for a place in the semi-finals.

Third seed Barbora Krejcikova survived a brief fightback from Jaqueline Cristian to advance 6-1 7-5, meanwhile, and Paula Badosa beat home hope Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-4.

There was disappointment for in-form Elena Rybakina, who thrashed Emma Raducanu on Tuesday but had to withdraw from her clash with Caroline Garcia with a thigh injury.

At the Adelaide International 2, Coco Gauff prevailed 6-3 5-7 6-3 in her battle of the teenagers showdown with Marta Kostyuk.

Gauff is one of five Americans in the quarter-finals along with Madison Brengle, Alison Riske, Lauren Davis and Madison Keys, who beat Tereza Martincova 6-1 6-3 to advance.

Petra Kvitova was on the receiving end of an upset in the first round of the WTA International in Adelaide as she was surprisingly beaten by wildcard Priscilla Hon on Monday.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who ended 2021 among the world's top 20 players for the first time since 2016, lost in three sets to her Australian opponent 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-2. The victory was Hon's first ever against a player in the top 40.

Elsewhere, number three seed Maria Sakkari saw off Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek 6-2 0-6 6-4, while number seven seed Elena Rybakina earned a 6-4 1-6 6-1 win over Storm Sanders.

Leylah Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up, also looked comfortable in a straight-sets victory against Ekaterina Alexandrova, easing past the Russian 6-3 6-4. The 19-year-old will face either number five seed Iga Swiatek or Daria Saville in the next round.

Heather Watson is out after a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) loss to home favourite Ajla Tomljanovic, while in the doubles event, Japanese pair and top seeds Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama were beaten 6-4 6-2 by Victoria Azarenka and Paula Badosa, who will play against one another in the singles on Tuesday.

Elina Svitolina required a third-set tie-break to progress at the Indian Wells Open, while former world number one Victoria Azarenka handled an old rival in straight sets and Simona Halep fell victim to an upset. 

Svitolina – the fourth seed – dropped the first set to 32nd seed Sorana Cirstea before fighting back to reach the round of 16 at the WTA Premier 1000 event on Sunday.

Two-time grand-slam champion Azarenka joined Svitolina in the next round after knocking out seventh seed Petra Kvitova, but 11th seed Halep became Aliaksandra Sasnovich's latest conquest. 

 

SVITOLINA SURVIVES CIRSTEA SCARE

Svitolina needed two hours, 32 minutes to outlast Cirstea 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) and remain unbeaten in three career matches against the Romanian. 

The Ukrainian was on the defensive throughout the opening set, facing 11 break points on her serve and managing to save eight of them before Cirstea finally won out. 

Svitolina tightened things up from there, saving four of five break points the rest of the match. 

"It was a very tough match today, and I was fighting and trying to find my game," said Svitolina, who will face Jessica Pegula next. "It was a bit of a rollercoaster.

"I wish I could play a little bit better in the first set, I had chances to grab that set, but unfortunately it didn't play the way I wanted. I had to fight for every point, and Sorana played a great match, I think. I'm happy that I could win today."

 

AZARENKA TAKES DOWN KVITOVA

Azarenka won her first two Tour-level matches against Kvitova in 2008 and 2009 but had prevailed only once in six meetings since then before Sunday's 7-5 6-4 triumph. 

The two-time Indian Wells champion converted break-point chances when she needed them, six of 11 in all, and had 18 unforced errors to Kvitova's 26. 

"It was important to just stay there, really take my opportunities, not to let her," Azarenka said after taking down two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova. "If she gets in the groove in couple points, not to kind of let her extend that streak, if you want to call it that.

"I was trying to still create opportunities for myself, be more aggressive, and honestly just believing also that what I'm doing is right and see how I can execute that. So intention was good. Execution followed after."

 

ANOTHER UPSET FOR SASNOVICH

After knocking off US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the second round, Sasnovich ushered out another grand slam winner in Halep 7-5 6-4 and will next face Azarenka.

The world number 100 had 22 winners to 16 for Halep and won 61.8 per cent of points on her serve as she reached the round of 16 at Indian Wells for the first time. 

In other matches Sunday, ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fell to 23rd seed and US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez 5-7 6-3 6-4, while second seed Iga Swiatek dropped only one game in a 6-1 6-0 demolition of Veronika Kudermetova. 

Jelena Ostapenko and Shelby Rogers also advanced. 

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