Miami Open Daily Preview: Swiatek, Osaka Face Opposition They Lost To in Australia - UBITENNIS
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Miami Open Daily Preview: Swiatek, Osaka Face Opposition They Lost To in Australia

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Iga Swiatek on Saturday in Miami (twitter.com/wta)

Due to rain on both Friday and Saturday, the tournament looks to play catch up on Sunday, with 44 matches scheduled.  And thankfully, there is no rain in the forecast.

This past January at the Australian Open, Iga Swiatek was upset by Linda Noskova in the third round, while Naomi Osaka fell to Caroline Garcia in the first round.  On Sunday, both Iga and Naomi get a rematch against those same opponents.

The day’s schedule also features top seeds such as Jannik Sinner, Coco Gauff, and Daniil Medvedev.  Plus, two-time Miami champion Andy Murray tries to win three consecutive matches at tour level for the first time in over a year.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Sunday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Caroline Garcia (23) vs. Naomi Osaka – Third on Grandstand Court

Their match in Melbourne was just the third in Osaka’s comeback from child birth, and saw Garcia be victorious after two tight sets.  The difference was the few break points either of these two great servers allowed.  Caroline claimed one of her three opportunities, while Naomi failed to earn a break point in either set.

They would meet again just a few weeks later in Doha, where Osaka avenged that loss with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.  Overall Naomi leads their head-to-head 2-1, as she also defeated Caroline at the 2021 Australian Open.

Osaka is now 7-5 this year after two straight-set wins this week, including a solid victory over Elina Svitolina on Saturday afternoon.  Garcia easily advanced on Friday, losing only three games to Viktoriya Tomova. 

After playing excellently during the last six months of 2022, Caroline’s form declined as 2023 progressed, dnd she’s a modest 7-7 in 2024.  At an event where Naomi feels so comfortable, and in the state where she spent much of her childhood, Osaka should be favored to collect her third victory over Garcia.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Linda Noskova (26) – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium Court

In Melbourne, 19-year-old Noskova came from a set down to beat Swiatek 6-4 in the third.  Iga failed to convert some critical break points in that matchup, especially in the third set.  Much like Osaka and Garcia, these two players would soon meet again, with Iga getting a statement win over Linda in Indian Wells by a score of 6-4, 6-0, winning the last 10 games of that match.

Swiatek has now won 14 of her last 15 matches since the loss to Noskova, with 13 of those 14 wins being authoritative straight-set victories.  Dating back to the start of Indian Wells over two weeks ago, Iga has won 13 consecutive sets, and lost only 23 games. 

By contrast, Linda has failed to follow-up on her huge victory over Iga.  At the Australian Open, she lost in the next round to Dayana Yastremska, and has only won four main draw matches since leaving Melbourne.  Plus, their only previous encounter before this year was another straight-set win for Swiatek.  While Noskova remains an impressive young player, the World No.1 is a considerable favorite on Sunday.


Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Coco Gauff (3) vs. Oceane Dodin (LL) – Gauff was one of the only players to complete a match on Friday despite all the rain, comfortably dispatching of Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-2.  That same day, Dodin prevailed in three sets against Arantxa Rus. 

Leylah Fernandez (31) vs. Jessica Pegula (5) – Pegula is a modest 7-4 this season, and has struggled since parting ways with her longtime coach, David Witt.  Fernandez is 7-6, and arrived in Miami on a three-match losing streak. 

Tomas Machac vs. Andy Murray – Murray has already earned impressive victories this week over Matteo Berrettini and Tomas Etcheverry.  Machac upset fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev on Friday.  Just last month in Marseille, Machac defeated Murray in straight sets.

Tallon Griekspoor (25) vs. Jannik Sinner (2) – Sinner is now 17-1 in 2024, and is a two-time runner-up in Miami, including a year ago.  Griekspoor is 10-6 this season, and needed nearly three hours on Saturday to overcome American Alex Michelsen.  Jannik has beaten Tallon three times since the beginning of last year, all straight-setters.

Cameron Norrie (30) vs. Daniil Medvedev (3) – Medvedev is the defending champion, and eliminated Marton Fucsovics in straights on Saturday.  Later in the day, Norrie defeated Flavio Cobolli in three.  Daniil has claimed both of their previous meetings in straight sets, and both were on hard courts.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas downs Sinner; now aims for Third Title in Monte Carlo

Stylish Greek completes comeback win and re-enters the top ten.

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After winning two in a row in 2021-2022, Stefanos Tsitsipas is now in reach of a third title at the prestigious Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, after beating World number two Jannik Sinner in three gruelling sets.

The 25-year-old had to battle hard and come from a break down in the third to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and now plays Casper Ruud in tomorrow’s final. The Greek has had an indifferent start to the year with a 11-6 win-loss record, but today was his first top three victory since the 2022 Cincinatti Masters – where he beat Daniil Medvedev – and ensures a return back into the top ten of the men’s rankings.

Tsitsipas recognised how hard he had to fight and revealed after the match just how satisfied he was of his performance:

“It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play. Jannik was an extremely difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far. He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game. He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that. He gave me a very difficult game and the way I overcame it is true excellence.”

Sinner double faulted at 30-40 to gift the break early with the score at one game all. From there, Tsistipas rallied with poise and confidence in a brilliant opening set lasting 44 minutes including a stunning backhand down-the-line winner to open the game when serving at 4-3. He took the first set 6-4 after a tiring 18-shot rally – where both players hit all angles of the court – before Sinner hit a forehand wide.

However, 22-year-old Sinner struck back immediately on his first breakpoint at the start of the second set when he won a close exchange at the net and then took a 3-0 lead.  He later survived a breakback point when 4-2 up and crucially held on for 5-2. He faced more pressure when serving for the set at 5-3 and was taken to deuce but levelled the match at one-set-all on his second set point to give the crowd exactly what they were asking f

Sinner was now in full flow hitting powerfully from the baseline and once again broke early at the start of the final set to take a 3-1 lead. But with the match now entering the third hour he began to tire physically and called for the trainer during the changeover with the score at 4-3.  When the match resumed, he lost the next three games and the Greek had completed a remarkable turnaround, handing his opponent just his second defeat of the season in two hours and forty minutes.

“It helps a lot knowing I have a win like this under my belt. Having a win like this and getting to the levels of tennis again brings a lot of satisfaction to me,” Tsitsipas said. “When there is a lot of work put in each day, these are the type of matches you are aiming for.”

Sinner’s only loss prior to today was against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells semi-finals. He has been the stand out player this year after already winning titles in Rotterdam, the Miami Open, and his maiden Grand Slam in Australia. Despite having won 25 matches overall though, he now trails Tsitsipas 3-6 in their head-to-head rivalry.

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Casper Ruud Reveals Shock After Knocking Out Novak Djokovic In Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud is into his second career Masters 1000 final after beating Novak Djokovic for the first time.

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Casper Ruud is into his second Masters 1000 final of his career after recording his best ever win by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 6-4.

The Norwegian defeated the world number one for the first time in his career as he overcame a mini-comeback from Djokovic to seal his place in the Monte-Carlo final.

Having lost his five previous meetings to Djokovic, Ruud played some fearless tennis under pressure as the eighth seed broke to close out a career-best win.

Speaking after the win Ruud admitted he was in a state of shock and was pleased with the victory, “I am super happy,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“This is a day I will remember for a long time. Beating a World No. 1 is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done. I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

After achieving the seemingly improbable, Ruud will now look to win his first ever ATP title that’s above a Masters 1000 event when he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Monte-Carlo final.

That’s a prospect Ruud is looking forward to as he prepares for one final challenge, “There is always one more match in tennis,” the Norwegian explained.

“Tomorrow is going to be a special day, playing a final here in Monte-Carlo. It is a great result but I have been chasing a big title for a few years now and tomorrow I will have another shot at it. I am going to give it my all. Stef is playing well. He is a great player on clay and on other surfaces as well, but I guess clay is maybe where he has had the most success and especially this tournament.

“So it is going to be another tough task, but I am up for it.”

The final will take place at 14:00 BST.

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Rafael Nadal Set For Opening Round Test Against Cobolli In Barcelona

Rafael Nadal will look to make his ATP tour return in Barcelona this week.

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Rafael Nadal is set for his return to tennis in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Nadal has been struggling with injury after being injured again in Brisbane this year.

The tournament in Brisbane was his first tournament back for a year as he suffered a hip injury at the Australian Open last year.

Now Nadal aims to return to competitive action in Barcelona as he has been drawn against Flavio Cobolli in the opening round.

Speaking earlier in the week Nadal was hopeful of a return to the tour in Barcelona, “Excited to be here for a few days before the start of the tournament,” Nadal told the ATP website.

“I’m here to see how it goes… can’t wait to try and play. I’ll let you know. Important to say that I don’t want to confirm I’ll be playing, but I hope so. We’ll see.”

Should Nadal play and win his opening round match then the Spaniard will play fourth seed Alex De Minaur in the second round.

The former world number one has won the title on 12 different occasions but hasn’t won the title since 2021.

Elsewhere in the draw defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin against Luca Van Assche or Zhizhen Zhang with the Spaniard projected to meet Borna Coric in the third round.

Alcaraz suffered an injury in Monte-Carlo and will be beginning his clay court campaign in Barcelona.

Also in action in Barcelona are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud.

Main draw action will begin on Monday.

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