Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff did not live up to most people’s expectations as the Polish tennis star breezed past the American in straight sets in Miami.
The must-watch showdown of the day ended with the scores of 6-3, 6-1 in the favor of the new world number 1. Swiatek, 20, who will rise to World No.1 next Monday, took just an hour and 16 minutes to best the 18-year-old in a clash between two of the three youngest players in the Top 20.
The match itself started on even grounds but it did not take long for the Pole to find her footing, converting four of her 10 break-points on the day for a dominant win.
Swiatek, who leads the tour in return games won and return points won, claimed nearly 60 percent of points off of Gauff’s second serve, as she notched a tour-leading 23rd match-win of the year overall.
No.2-seeded Swiatek was unable to convert any of her first six breakpoints before big backhand return to break for a 4-3 lead. Strong hitting by Gauff gave the American two chances to break back in the very next game, but Swiatek held on to that game and, eventually, the set.
Those would be the only two break points Gauff held all day as Swiatek dominated the second set, at one juncture claiming 14 points in a row to seal a career-best streak of 14 straight matches.
Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff rivalry has been one-way traffic thus far with Swiatek leading the head-to-head 2-0. She is still undefeated at WTA 1000 events this season. Her current winning streak started with a title run at the first WTA 1000 event of the year in Doha, and continued through her second straight WTA 1000 title at Indian Wells just over a week ago.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will be next in line to challenge Swiatek’s streak in the quarterfinals in their first meeting.
No.28 seed Kvitova of the Czech Republic prevailed over No.21 seed Veronika Kudermetova 7-6(5), 6-4 in a streaky affair on Monday evening.
A topsy-turvy opening set saw Kvitova lose a 5-2 lead that resulted in a tiebreak which the Czech won to take the one-set lead after over an hour of play.
The second set was the opposite as Kudermetova raced out to a 4-0 lead, with six game points for 5-0. But Kvitova suddenly took over and knocked off six games in a row to improve to 3-0 against Kudermetova.
Another World Number 1, Naomi Osaka, is back into the quarterfinals of the Miami Open for the second year running after a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Alison Riske in Monday’s Round of 16.