Rybakina rallies past Badosa, Potapova upsets Gauff in Miami Open
Elena Rybakina kept her “Sunshine Double” hopes alive as she battled from the brink to beat Paula Badosa in the Miami Open third round on Saturday, while Russian Anastasia Potapova upset Coco Gauff in three sets.
Wimbledon champion Rybakina, fresh off her Indian Wells triumph last week, calmly saved a match point on serve in the second set and fired 60 winners, including a dozen aces, as she earned a gutsy 3-6 7-5 6-3 win.
Rybakina, who also had to go the distance in her opening match against Anna Kalinskaya, struggled to find her rhythm on serve in the opening set but wrestled back momentum in the second.
After being broken four times in the first set, Rybakina held her serve in all but one game in the remainder of the contest and confidently closed out victory in two hours and 31 minutes.
“It didn’t start well in the first set but in the end I just found some energy,” Rybakina said. “I was trying to push more on the serve and started to move better on the court. It was a really tough battle.
“I was trying to focus on every point because the first set didn’t go my way. But it was just a few mistakes here and there. Overall, I played well. Paula was serving well. Just happy that I was able to manage in three sets.”
Russian 27th seed Potapova produced some of her best tennis to see off world number six Gauff in a 6-7(8) 7-5 6-2 win and set up a meeting with China’s Zheng Qinwen.
Potapova mounted a stout defense to fend off 10 of 13 break points and grinned widely as she fired down an unreturnable serve to secure the win.
Up 5-2 in the first set, it looked as though it might be an easy day for Potapova. But Gauff turned the tables when she converted break point chances in the ninth and 11th games and closed the tiebreak with a lethal backhand.
Potapova regained her composure in the second set and pummeled her opponent with her mighty forehand as she broke serve in the penultimate game and dropped only one first-serve point as she won the final five games.
On the men’s side, Indian Wells runner-up Daniil Medvedev breezed past Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-2 in just over an hour to reach the third round, where he will face Alex Molcan of Slovakia.
In his first match since Carlos Alcaraz snapped his 19-match winning run, Medvedev barely broke a sweat as he hit 18 winners to Carballes Baena’s five in a dominant victory.
Canadian fifth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime unleashed a dozen aces to edge out Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 7-6(5) 7-6(8) and set up a third-round meeting with last year’s semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.
“That’s the longest I’ve ever played two sets, definitely,” Auger-Aliassime said after the two hour, 40 minute match. “He made me work for it.”
Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, runner-up at this year’s Australian Open, reached the third round after opponent Richard Gasquet of France withdrew with an ankle injury. Tsitsipas will next face Chile’s Christian Garin.
World number three Jessica Pegula made quick work of her fellow American Danielle Collins 6-1 7-6(0). She will meet Polish 20th seed Magda Linette for a place in the quarter-finals.
Earlier, the home fans leapt to their feet as 55th-ranked American Mackenzie McDonald survived a barrage of aces to upset Italian 19th seed Matteo Berrettini 7-6(8) 7-6(5). He will next face France’s Quentin Halys.
Rybakina beats Sabalenka to win Indian Wells WTA title
Elena Rybakina knocks off Bianca Andreescu in Dubai
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