Karolina Pliskova believes Ash Barty could return to tennis following her surprise retirement in March, but the Czech acknowledged she could not relate to the decision as she "likes the game too much".

Barty became just the second player to call quits on their playing career when ranked as world number one, after Justine Henin, with a shock announcement last month.

The 25-year-old cited a lack of "physical drive and emotional want" to compete despite claiming her second grand slam title at the Australian Open just two months before.

However, just as Henin did after retiring, former world number one Pliskova has a feeling that Barty, who defeated her in the 2021 Wimbledon final, may also return to the court in future.

"I was shocked because I'm not really on Twitter because I don't want to get too much information for myself," Pliskova told the WTA on Barty's retirement.

"But somebody messaged me and said, 'Oh, did you see the news?' It was 11:00 in the evening in Miami. I was like, 'No, no, did somebody cry again or something?' They said, 'No, no, Ashleigh, she stopped.' I'm like, 'No way, that's not possible. Tell me the reason.' 

"I understand everybody's different. For me, it's not understandable at all because I just like the game so much. But I understand somebody maybe suffers, somebody doesn't like to travel.

"She basically won everything that she wanted to win, I suppose maybe she had no motivation. If you hate this tennis life and it's not what you always wanted to do, I think it's good to stop. 

"But I was surprised and shocked. I thought she was a really good number one for our sport and she was there for a while. Of course now, Iga [Swiatek] is a really good player, but I just thought Ashleigh was a good person and she had good charisma. I'm going to miss her. 

"But you never know. I think maybe she's going to come back. And then she's just going to be 27."

Meanwhile, Pliskova is focusing on her comeback as she continues to recover from a freak gym accident that resulted in a broken arm, which delayed the start of her new campaign by two months.

The 30-year-old, who has reached two major finals, made an encouraging return as she defeated Ukraine's Katarina Zavatska at Charleston Open but fell to Ekaterina Alexandrova on Friday.

"It was tough because people who follow tennis or me, they know I don't really have injuries," she added. "Even if I feel something, I still play. I never skip anything, not even practice or a tournament.

"The only break I had was this Covid break and I don't think that helped me. This injury was a bit more serious because I could not use my arm. I had a cast for a month or two. So it was quite a difficult time.

"I think things are going quite well. I just try to take the positives out of it, that I'm able to play after a couple months. It's been too long for me because with the offseason together, I missed four or five months.

"I know I'm not the player which can have five months at home and then I come in and win a tournament. I need some time to go through the feelings and the matches. I know it's going to take time, but just happy to be back."

World number five and the tournament's top seed, Aryna Sabalenka, was upset by American Amanda Anisimova 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the third round at the Charleston Open.

Sabalenka's serve was the key to her early success, connecting on 73 per cent of her first serves, and winning 15 of the 19 points in that situation (79 per cent).

When Sabalenka's first serve percentage fell to 48 in the second set, Anisimova found her footing, breaking twice in the frame, before pouncing on the Belarusian's lacklustre second serve in the deciding set, winning seven of nine opportunities to earn the break and the win.

Sixth seed Jessica Pegula was also bounced in surprising fashion, losing 6-4 3-6 6-4 to unseeded compatriot Coco Vandeweghe.

In a razor-close contest, it came down to who took their chances, as Vandeweghe saved seven of the 10 break points she faced, while Pegula could only save one of five.

World number 10 Ons Jabeur had no problem navigating the challenge of Emma Navarro, winning 6-3 6-2 as she broke her opponent's serve on six occasions.

Canadian seventh seed Leylah Hernandez also fell victim to an unseeded upset, going down 3-6 6-3 6-4 against Poland's Magda Linette.

In a meeting between two top-10 seeds, Belinda Bencic got the better of Madison Keys to edge it 6-4 6-4.

Second seed Paula Badosa had to come from a set down to eventually get the better of Claire Liu 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-1.

In the late session, French 12th seed Alize Cornet went down in a close tussle against Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 (7-5) 7-5, while Jabeur won her second match of the day, beating Irina Begu 6-3 6-2.

Meanwhile, in Bogota at the Copa Colsanitas, top seed Camila Osorio dispatched Turkish opponent Ipek Oz 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to move on to the quarter-final where she will meet Elina Avanesyan.

Serena Williams appeared to shut down premature talk of calling time on her career by declaring that she hopes to return from injury in time for Wimbledon.

The 40-year-old has not played competitively since losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of last year's tournament at SW19 and is now ranked at 246 in the world.

Williams' future in the sport was called into question on Thursday when her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou announced he will now work with Simona Halep.

However, the 23-time major winner – who has been coached by Mouratoglou since 2012 – has moved to confirm her intention to return to top-level tennis in the coming months.

Speaking alongside Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at an event in Miami, Williams said: "We've been talking about my comeback and he's been hyping me up.

"He's getting me ready for Wimbledon. Can't wait!"

Williams is one major title shy of matching Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24, having been beaten in four finals since her most recent triumph at the 2017 Australian Open.

She missed last year's US Open on home soil, as well as the 2022 Australian Open in January.

Rodgers was surprised at Williams' Wimbledon announcement and asked: "What about the US Open?", to which the ex-world number one replied: "Wimbledon is first".

The grass-court grand slam gets under way on June 27.

Patrick Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of Serena Williams, has confirmed he will now work with Simona Halep.

Mouratoglou began coaching Williams in 2012 and has guided the former world number one to 10 grand slam titles and a further six major finals.

However, the last of those triumphs came in 2017, with Williams still one major success shy of matching Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24.

Williams reached the semi-final of last year's Australian Open, losing to Naomi Osaka, before subsequently going out in the last 16 at Roland Garros.

But the 40-year-old has not featured since retiring due to an injury in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon and is now ranked as the world number 246.

And it does not appear as though Williams will be making a return to the WTA Tour soon, with Mouratoglou explaining that, at least in the short term, he will be coaching former world number one Halep.

"Today, I am starting a new chapter in my coaching career: I am now the full-time coach of Simona Halep," Mouratoglou tweeted on Thursday.

"In the last eight months, I realised how much I missed coaching. It is the passion of my life, and I still feel like I have so much to give.

"Simona came to the Mouratoglou Academy before Indian Wells for a training block. I swung by at a few of her practices, watched her train.

"At the end of the week, she asked me if I was available to coach her. I have the highest respect for her but it was out of the question at the time.

"A few weeks later. I had a conversation with Serena, and the door opened for me, at least short term, to work with someone else.

"I will keep you updated on what's coming next soon."

World number 20 Halep endured an injury-hit 2020 and 2021, and split with long-time coach Darren Cahill in September of last year. The Romanian has won two grand slam titles, triumphing at Roland Garros in 2018 and Wimbledon the following season.

She has reached three other major finals and enjoyed a strong start to 2022, triumphing at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 prior to the Australian Open, in which she reached the round of 16.

Runs to the semi-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championship and Indian Wells Open have followed, though the 30-year-old will be hoping Mouratoglou can help her recapture the form she showed to end 2017 and 2018 on top of the WTA rankings.

Belinda Bencic survived a scare as she advanced to the Charleston Open second round with a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win over Wang Xiyu.

The Olympic gold medallist was a semi-finalist in Miami last time out, while she has also reached the quarter-finals in Sydney and St Petersburg this year.

However, the 10th seed was in danger of falling at the first hurdle at 5-2 down in the second set against world number 149 Wang.

Bencic rallied to force a tie-break and, subsequently, a deciding set, which she controlled to set up a second-round clash with 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova.

Magda Linette also fought back from the brink of defeat; the world number 64 saving a match point before prevailing against Maria Voleynets 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Although, there was no joy for former champion Sloane Stephens, who was beaten in three sets by Zheng Qinwen.

Stephens – winner here in 2016 – recovered from losing the opening set 6-3 to take the second 6-4. But there was no denying the Chinese teenager, who dropped just nine points as she raced through the decider 6-0 to claim the first top-50 win of her career.

The likes of Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys were due to feature in the evening session, which was postponed due to severe inclement weather including the possible threat of a tornado.

In Bogota, top seed and home favourite Camila Osorio advanced to the last 16, but only after opponent Ylena In-Albon was forced to retire at 2-2 in the deciding set.

Fourth seed Hanna Udvardy and eighth seed Harriet Dart were beaten in straight sets by Dayana Yastremska and Elina Avanesyan respectively.

Alize Cornet was the highest seed in action on the first day of the Charleston Open, and showed her class, beating Alycia Parks 6-0 7-5.

Cornet, the 12 seed, was nearly perfect in the first set, winning 86 per cent of her service points (12-14) and 80 per cent of her return points (12-15).

15 seed Amanda Anisimova also made it through, and with an identical scoreline, defeating American compatriot Sachia Vickery 6-0 7-5.

China's Shuai Zhang is the 16 seed, and she also only needed two sets to see off unseeded opponent Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-2 6-4.

Hungary's Anna Bondar earned a second-round matchup against world number three Paula Badosa after defeating the Netherlands' Arianne Hartono 6-1 6-4.

Italian Jasmine Paolini will meet six seed and world number 13 Jessica Pegula in the second round after beating Romania's Gabriela Lee 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, in Bogota at the Copa Colsanitas, Brazilian qualifier Laura Pigossi defeated five seed Harmony Tan 6-4 6-3.

Top seed and world number 33 Camila Osorio will kick off her tournament on Tuesday against Ylena In-Albon.

Iga Swiatek has revealed she was "crying for 40 minutes" when she discovered Ash Barty had retired and the Polish sensation has felt "a range of emotions" after becoming world number one.

Barty sensationally called time on her career at the age of 25 last month.

The Australian quit while she was at the top of the rankings and on the back of winning her home grand slam for the first time at Melbourne Park in January.

Swiatek on Monday became Poland's first world number one and the 20-year-old could be hard to dislodge, as she is on a 17-match winning run.

The 2020 French Open champion became the youngest woman to win the Sunshine Double on Saturday when she beat Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final after being crowned champion at Indian Wells.

Swiatek was in tears after finding out that Barty had ended her playing days and it soon sunk in that she would officially become the best player in the world.

She told BBC Sport: "I was crying for 40 minutes. Mainly, it was because of Ash's retirement. I didn't know it was going to happen and it really surprised me.

"I always had this vision that we would all play until we are 35 or something, until our bodies are so tired that we can't anymore.

"I needed time to actually understand what she must have thought. Her decision was really brave and I felt a lot of emotions because of that."

She added: "I also felt emotional because of my own position.

"I realised after two hours of being really emotional that 'hey, you don't know what is going to happen yet and you still have to win some matches'.

"So I told myself 'let's wait with the emotions and with being excited because I have work to do'."

Swiatek won the Qatar Open before claiming another two prestigious titles in the United States and the Warsaw native says the manner in which she has dominated has taken her by surprise.

"Emotionally it has been really intense and I have felt a range of emotions – from being proud and having satisfaction, to confusion and surprise," she said.

"These last weeks showed me I can trust in myself a little bit more and trust my skills and my tennis. Before I didn't really know it was possible for me to have a streak like that. So it also kind of surprised me.

"After Doha and after Indian Wells I didn't have time to digest what I've achieved. Right now I am going to take some time to analyse what happened from a 'work' point of view."

Iga Swiatek scored a sensational win against Naomi Osaka in the Miami Open final and predicted it would mark "the start of a great rivalry".

A 6-4 6-0 victory for Swiatek means the new WTA number one has won three consecutive WTA 1000 titles, becoming the first player to do so at the beginning of a season.

Saturday's success sealed the 'sunshine double' as the 20-year-old captured the Indian Wells and Miami titles back to back, becoming the youngest player to achieve that feat, and only the fourth in history, after Steffi Graf, who did it twice, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka.

Addressing Osaka, Swiatek said: "I wanted to say I'm pretty glad we could play this match, and I think it's the start of a great rivalry.

"You're really an inspiration and this sport is better with you, so keep going."

Osaka is battling her way back into the sport after documenting her struggles with mental health and depression, and her ranking stood at 77 before this tournament.

She was reduced to tears in Indian Wells after being heckled by a spectator, and the Japanese star, a former WTA number one, referenced that incident in a post-match speech after losing to Swiatek.

Thanking her support team, Osaka said they were "the ones who keep pushing me forward after the things that happened two weeks ago – they're the rock that stays by my side".

Although Swiatek beat her resoundingly in the final, these two appear to be close allies, with a meal they enjoyed together in Australia in January 2020 having sparked a friendship.

"I want to congratulate Iga," said Osaka. "I was just thinking yesterday about when I had that dinner with you in Australia, and watching your journey is really incredible, and I hope you continue having fun. Apparently we're tied 1-1 now."

Osaka, who beat Swiatek in Toronto three years ago in their only past meeting, said her conqueror was "an incredible, amazing person", and assured her own supporters she had been having "a lot of fun".

"I hope I can keep working hard and get more opportunities to be in a situation like this again," Osaka added. "Just to be in the final means a lot to me."

That is both pertinent and refreshing given Osaka's future in tennis has appeared in doubt during the past year.

Swiatek, meanwhile, goes from strength to strength. From her French Open final triumph in October 2020 to this latest win, she has won each of the six finals she has contested. Across the last four, Swiatek has won four 6-0 'bagel' sets.

Doing the Indian Wells and Miami double, after previously taking the Doha title this year, shows Swiatek to be a worthy number one.

"I didn't think that was possible," she told Amazon Prime, assessing her back-to-back wins in America. "I'm trying to see what my limits are, and when I was coming from Indian Wells, I said to my coach, 'Did you ever have a situation like that where a player plays the final at Indian Wells and has to play the next match in three days?'. He said that I shouldn't worry and we can do it."

Swiatek's winning streak stands at 17 matches, her record for the season is 26-3, and she has won 20 consecutive sets. Her new number one status will be confirmed on Monday, when the newly retired Ash Barty is taken off the WTA list, and Swiatek hopes to stay there.

"We're going to see. The end of the season is still a long way," she said. "I hope I'm going to keep doing well with the pressure."

Iga Swiatek sealed the 'sunshine double' with a trouncing of Naomi Osaka as the new world number one added the Miami Open title to her Indian Wells triumph.

Twenty-year-old Swiatek will succeed the retired Ash Barty on top of the WTA rankings on Monday, and she has reached the top spot for the first time in staggering style.

A 6-4 6-0 victory against former number one Osaka in Saturday's final made Swiatek the first player to win the first three WTA 1000 events in a season.

Those are the highest value tournaments on the tour outside the grand slams, and Swiatek has chopped down the fields in Doha, Indian Wells and now Miami in staggering fashion.

Her winning streak stands at 17 matches, her record for the season is 26-3, and she has won 20 consecutive sets.

Swiatek set the tone for the match when she broke for a 3-2 lead in the opening set, whipping an exquisite backhand winner across court to seize the initiative.

She had a look-in next time around too, with Osaka doing well to fend off a break point and keep the Pole within touching distance.

The first set was secured when Osaka hoisted an aggressive forehand service return long, and that ramped up the pressure at the beginning of the second

In a flash, Swiatek earned herself three breakpoints, and although Osaka saved the first with a drive volley, the Japanese player sent a forehand into the net on the next point

Swiatek was displaying some startling shot-making, and a cross-court forehand winner in the third game was a thing of beauty, helping her establish a double break.

Osaka is battling her way back into the sport after documenting her struggles with mental health and depression, and her ranking stood at 77 before this tournament.

By reaching the final she proved her talent remains formidable, but Swiatek at present is on another level to her tour rivals, and a clinical sweep of the second set was complete when Osaka hooked a forehand wide.

Only three players had previously secured this back-to-back double in Miami and Indian Wells: Steffi Graf in 1994 and 1996, Kim Clijsters in 2005 and Victoria Azarenka in 2016. Swiatek is the youngest to achieve the feat.

Naomi Osaka is through to her first tournament final since her 2021 Australian Open win, getting past Belinda Bencic 6-4 3-6 6-4 at the Miami Open on Thursday.

The reigning Olympic champion looked strong early, breaking twice to go up 4-1 as she took advantage of Osaka's second serve, winning nine of the 11 second serves she saw in the opening set.

As Osaka's success on second serve cleaned up in the second set, Bencic's avenue to victory vanished, unable to save either of the two break points she faced in the second set.

Osaka's first serve percentage shot up to 70 in the deciding set, winning 87 per cent of points on first serve (20-23) to shut the door. Despite Bencic breaking back once after going down a double-break, she was unable to stop her Japanese opponent from serving it out.

Speaking on court after her win, the Florida native was emotional, shedding some tears as she thanked the fans in attendance.

"I just wanted to say thank you everyone, the atmosphere was really good," she said.

"Damn, I'm always crying. I just wanted to say thank you, this tournament really means a lot to me and it's my first time in the finals here."

World number-one-in-waiting Iga Swiatek twice came back from a break down in the second set to overcome the challenge of American Jessica Pegula 6-2 7-5.

The straight sets win for the 20-year-old Polish star means she has now not dropped a set in eight straight matches dating back to the fourth round at the Indian Wells Open where she beat Angelique Kerber two sets to one. 

Against Pegula, Swiatek was simply too strong in the opening set, breaking twice in four tries when Pegula's second serve was vulnerable, with the American only winning 27 per cent of her second serve points (4-15) in the opening frame.

The second set was far more competitive, but Swiatek remained just slightly better both on serve and in the return game in a set where four consecutive games resulted in breaks in a seesawing contest.

Pegula refused to let the top seed serve it out comfortably, saving two match points to extend the second set at 5-5. It was just delaying the inevitable as Swiatek broke back instantly and held her nerve, and serve, to avoid a tie-break.

 

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.

Naomi Osaka will make her first Miami Open semi-final appearance after defeating Danielle Collins 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday.

The Florida native and the 2022 Australian Open finalist were worlds apart on serve, with Osaka putting up 13 aces, while Collins served seven double faults and had a meagre first-serve rate of 37.8 per cent.

While dropping only three games provides ample reflection, Osaka was in almost total control, winning 28 of 38 total points on serve and over half of the points on return with 26 out of 45. Her 25 winners to three unforced errors only reinforced the dominant nature of the win.

The Japanese former world number one has not dropped a set en route to the semi-final, and did not face a single break point against Collins, who called a medical time-out to address a neck issue after the first set.

"I'm glad I was able to get through quickly," Osaka said post-match. "I focused on trying to hit a lot of really good returns.

"This is actually my first night match too, so I didn't know what the conditions were going to be like."

Osaka will face reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, who comfortably saw her way past Daria Saville with a 6-1 6-2 win.

The Tokyo gold medallist progressed to her first WTA 1000 semi-final since Madrid in 2019, needing just 69 minutes to defeat the unseeded Australian.

With Saville serving at 51 per cent for the match, Bencic was all over the second look, winning 18 of a total 23 points in those scenarios.

The critical element of the match was the Swiss 22nd seed's ruthlessness on break point, converting seven out of total eight times.

Elina Svitolina is taking a much-needed break from tennis due to physical and mental stress brought on by injuries and Russia's invasion of her native Ukraine. 

The world number 20 revealed she had been struggling with a back injury that affected her preparations for tournaments, falling at the first hurdle in each of her past two events.

Svitolina, the 2018 WTA Finals champion, reached the last eight at the Monterrey Open, where she refused to play Anastasia Potapova unless the Russian was classed as a neutral athlete at the start of the month, but she lost in her first match at both Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

Svitolina's sabbatical means she will be absent from Ukraine's Fed Cup clash with the United States next month, and it remains to be seen if she will return in time for the French Open at the end of May.

The 27-year-old posted on Twitter: "It's been an extremely difficult couple of months for me not only mentally, but physically. 

"For quite a long time, I've been struggling with my back; the pain didn't let me prepare for the tournaments at my best.

"Meanwhile, observing with unbearable pain in my heart what is happening in my homeland of Ukraine and with how much bravery and courage our Ukrainian people are defending our country, this gave me a huge push to continue and fight on court.

"Now, my body can't handle it anymore and I need to rest, therefore I'm sad to announce that I will be missing the Fed Cup and a few of my favourite tournaments in Europe. But, I'm sure I will see you around soon, thank you for all your support in this challenging period."

Will Smith has apologised to Serena and Venus Williams and their family, as well as Chris Rock, after his on-stage slap aimed at the comedian marred an Academy Award win.

The Williams sisters were at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday to see Smith win Best Actor for his portrayal of their father Richard in the biopic King Richard.

However, before Smith took to the stage to collect his award, he was involved in the major flashpoint of the night and one of the most remarkable incidents in Academy Awards history.

Smith stormed the stage when Rock, while presenting Best Documentary Feature, made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock appeared to make a comment on Pinkett Smith's hair, which prompted Smith – after originally smiling at the joke – to take to the stage and strike the comedian before telling him to "keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth".

Smith returned to his seat and was allowed to remain in attendance for the rest of the ceremony, giving a lengthy and emotional acceptance speech in which he apologised to The Academy.

Almost 24 hours past before Smith took to his Instagram page to address the issue again, explaining he took offence to a remark apparently related to his wife's alopecia but also again apologising – including to the Williams family.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," he wrote. "My behaviour at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.

"Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

"I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.  

"I would also like to apologise to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.

"I would like to apologise to the Williams family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

"I am a work in progress."

In her own post on Sunday, Serena Williams had seemingly sought only to address Smith's success at the Oscars.

"This night has been surreal," she wrote. "To spend it sitting next to my sisters meant more than anything.

"I am so grateful to The Academy for making this an unforgettable night, and to Will Smith for bringing this story to the big screen and honouring my family. This will always be a night to remember."

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.

 

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