Tennis: Top-ranked Swiatek, U.S. Open champ Gauff knocked out of Miami Open

AP , Tuesday 26 Mar 2024

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek and U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff have been knocked out of the Miami Open.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek of Poland Ekaterina Alexandrova during her women s singles match during the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 25, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida. AFP

Swiatek lost to Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-2 on Monday night, hours after the third-seeded Gauff fell in three sets to No. 23 Caroline Garcia 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

In the men’s draw, top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.

Alexandrova beat a top-ranked player for the first time and advanced to face Jessica Pegula, a 7-6(1), 6-3 winner over Emma Navarro, in the quarterfinals.

Alexandrova recorded her second win over Swiatek, following a 2021 victory in Melbourne. Swiatek had won their three matches since.

“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.”

Swiatek rallied from a set down and beat Linda Noskova a day earlier. Against Alexandrova, she struggled.

“Disappointed for sure because I thought I was going to play better here in Miami,” Swiatek said. “But she played an amazing match and for sure, she was the better player out there today. Her serve, I had a had time reading it. I got a little bit tense when I couldn’t return well.”

Garcia defeated her second straight Grand Slam champion to reach Miami’s quarterfinals. She ousted four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka 7-6 (4), 7-5 on Sunday.

Garcia said it had been a while since she had a victory over a top-10 opponent like Gauff.

“You keep working and trying to stay positive about what’s coming, that it’s going to pay off,” she said. “Sometimes, it’s very hard. But I’m lucky enough to have very good people behind me to help me and stay positive when I’m struggling.”

“It means a lot to have this little reward and keep going in the tournament,” she said.

Also moving into the quarterfinals was No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina, who defeated 17th-seeded American Madison Keys 6-3, 7-5.

Rybakina will next face No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari, who advanced to her second Miami Open quarterfinal when Anna Kalinskaya, seeded 22nd, withdrew with a right thigh injury.

Victoria Azarenka, who’s won the Australian Open twice, made the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Katie Boulter.

Yulia Putintseva also advanced, defeating No. 27 seed Anhalina Kalinina straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (5), and No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula beat Emma Navarro 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Alcaraz will next face Lorenzo Musetti, who beat Ben Shelton 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, defeated Christopher Eubanks 7-6 (4), 6-3, and No. 9 seed Alex de Minaur beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (3), 6-4.

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