Tennis

Ashleigh Barty defeats Victoria Azarenka to reach Miami Open quarter-finals

Ashleigh Barty in action

Defending champion Ashleigh Barty progressed to the quarter-finals of the Miami Open with a three-set victory over Victoria Azarenka.

The Australian won 6-1 1-6 6-2 to set up a meeting with Belarus’s Aryna Sabalenka, who dropped just three games in beating the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova in just over an hour.

“The first two sets probably had some pretty big momentum swings, but I think the third set was a real tussle,” said world number one Barty.

“But it was just about staying the course and over time trying to execute my gameplan as best I can, and try and bring it back onto my racquet where I felt I was in control a little bit more in that third set and had a little bit better court position.”

Seventh seed Sabalenka, who had never gone beyond the second round in Miami before this year, completely outplayed Vondrousova, producing 28 winners to her opponent’s seven.

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Joining them in a last eight are fifth seed Elina Svitolina, who came from behind to beat Petra Kvitova 2-6 7-5 7-5, and Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-1 7-5 winner over Ana Konjuh.

Number two seed and reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka booked her quarter-final place by beating Elise Mertens 6-3 6-3.

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The Japanese will meet Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who was a 4-6 6-2 7-6 (6) victor over Jennifer Pegula in a lengthy two hours and 38 minutes.

Tunisian 27th seed Ons Jabeur’s run came to an end with a 6-4 0-6 6-1 loss to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, who will next face Bianca Andreescu after the Canadian overcame a poor start to defeat Garbine Muguruza 3-6 6-3 6-2.

PA

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