By Tucker Verdi
Eight more women secured their spots in the round of sixteen yesterday in a second week that is shaping up to be a tough one to predict here at the 2018 Miami Open.
After Caroline Wozniack’s defeat despite winning the first set 6-0, the theme so far should be never feel safe.
Venus Williams built a 5-0 in the first set of her match with No. 29 seed Kiki Bertens. Bertens, however, was not content with going down and won seven straight games to clinch the first set 7-5.
But the resilient Williams played a steady second set, claiming it 6-3.
In the final set, Bertens would take a 5-3 lead and Williams would fend off three match points to set herself up for the win. The 7-time Grand Slam champion smashed a forehand to seal the 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win in two hours and fifty-six minutes.
Williams, who typically does a twirl on court following wins, performed a triple-twirl of sorts in celebration of the emotional victory.
Williams will take on reigning Miami Open champion and No. 11 seed Johanna Konta, who breezed by Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.
World No. 4 Elina Svitolina dropped the first set 4-6 to Daria Gavrilova before turning the tables on the 24-year-old Russian-turned-Australian player. Svitolina advanced to the fourth round, winning the second and third sets 6-0 and 6-1, respectively. She will take on another Australian in Ashleigh Barty, who downed Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3.
Petra Kvitova beat back a fierce challenge from spunky young American qualifier Sofia Kenin, winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 2-time Czech Wimbledon champ did not play the kind of clean game that led her to those two titles, but overcame the 19-year-old with her powerful serve. She will face French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Hometown player Monica Puig, who hails from Puerto Rico but grew up in Miami, deepened her run in the tournament with a straight-sets win over Greek player Maria Sakkari 6-3, 7-5.
Puig defeated two Aussie Open winners in Sam Stosur and No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki to mark her first third round appearance at the Miami Open. Now, she’s onto the fourth round of a Grand Slam or Premier Mandatory event since Wimbledon 2013.
Puig will face American qualifier Danielle Collins, who overcame a first set loss to defeat Croatian Donna Vekic 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
For full match results, please visit miamiopen.com/2018-results.