Naomi Osaka trounces Angelique Kerber at Miami Open
Japan’s Naomi Osaka was in top form on Thursday, converting 88.9 percent of her first-serve points while rolling to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 13th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany in the second round of the Miami Open.
Later Thursday, two of the tournament’s top three seeds dropped their second-round matches. Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu upset top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-4, 6-4, and the United States’ Ann Li knocked out third-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.
Osaka served six aces without a double fault while finishing off Kerber in 60 minutes.
Dominant from Naomi 💪FEATURED STORIES
🇯🇵 @naomiosaka defeats Kerber in an hour and sets up a third-round clash with Muchova!#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/Dglp568tlP
— wta (@WTA) March 24, 2022
“She’s like the first high-seeded player I’ve beaten this year,” Osaka said on-court after the win. “I feel like I came into the match wanting to dictate. My power on the shots was working really well.”
It marked just the second time in six career meetings that Osaka defeated Kerber.
Kerber won just 59.5 percent of her first-serve points.
Osaka will next face Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, who registered a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over 18th-seeded Leylah Fernandez of Canada on Thursday.
The upset win came during Muchova’s first tournament since last summer’s US Open. She has been out with an abdominal injury.
Muchova won 71.2 percent of her first-serve points against Fernandez, a US Open finalist last year.
Muchova said after the match that she was physically spent.
“(After an injury) you can do whatever fitness, but the match is something else,” Muchova said. “For me, it was a win just to play and compete again.”
Last year’s US Open champion, 11th-seeded Emma Raducanu, was also upset in the second round. Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic sent the Brit packing with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
Siniakova saved 12 of 17 break points while Raducanu saved just 3 of 9 opportunities.
Meanwhile, ninth-seeded Floridian Danielle Collins returned from an illness to post a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Hungary’s Anna Bondar. It was Collins’ first victory since reaching the final of the Australian Open.
Collins was sidelined the last five-plus weeks due to what she termed a viral illness. She retired during a match in Dubai on Feb. 15 due to dizziness and withdrew from Indian Wells earlier this month.
Russian Anna Kalinskaya upset No. 6 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3. Pliskova served up 10 aces but also committed nine double faults. No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia advanced with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over Poland’s Magda Linette, while Great Britain’s Heather Watson beat 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
In other matches involving seeded players, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus posted a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over 25th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina; American Alison Riske defeated 31st-seeded Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 6-2, and Kaia Kanepi of Estonia notched a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 win over 32nd-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.
No. 22 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland topped Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-1, while Russia’s Vera Zvonareva upset 19th-seeded Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-3, 6-2.
Naomi Osaka says therapy helping after Miami Open win
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