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Exodus in Miami: Sabalenka, Kontaveit among 11 women’s seeds to lose on Thursday

Besides the 11 seeds to lose on Thursday, three seeds, including two former world No 1s Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza also pulled out of the tournament due to injury

Aryna Sabalenka gestures after missing a shot during her second round women's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Aryna Sabalenka gestures after missing a shot during her second round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

There was an exodus of seeds in the women’s draw at the Miami Open on Thursday with as many as 11 of them losing in second round action, including top seed Aryna Sabalenka and third seed Anett Kontaveit.

Sabalenka, who is down to No 5 after starting the season as world No 2, was the biggest casualty, going down in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to 70th-ranked Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. Sabalenka’s serve continued to let her down as she hit eight doubles faults in the straight-sets loss. She also failed to convert any of the six break point chances she earned on Begu’s serve.

Third seed Kontaveit, one of the players with a chance to challenge for the world No 1 position vacated by Ash Barty in the next few months, was also knocked out. The Estonian went down to Ann Li, with the 65th-ranked American winning 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova, who played her first tournament of the season last fortnight at Indian Wells, went 0-2 in her comeback as she was defeated by Anna Kalinskaya 6-3, 6-3.

Only two of the top 10 seeds in action on Thursday survived. Eighth seed Ons Jabeur scored a 7-6, 6-2 win over Madga Linette while Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins, the ninth seed, scored a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Hungary’s Anna Bondar. 22nd seed Belinda Bencic also survived the carnage with a straight-sets win over Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.

Here is a complete list of all the seeded women who lost on Thursday

  • Irina-Camelia Beug def. (1) Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4
  • Ann Li def. (3) Anett Kontaviet 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
  • Anna Kalinskaya def. (6) Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-3
  • Katerina Siniakova def. (11) Emma Raducanu 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
  • Naomi Osaka def. (13) Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-3
  • Heather Watson def. (15) Elina Svitolina 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
  • Karolina Muchova def. (18) Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 7-6 (3)
  • Vera Zvonareva def. (19) Tamara Zidansek 6-3, 6-2
  • Aliaksandra Sasnovich def. (25) Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (5), 6-4
  • Alison Riske def. (31) Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-2
  • Kaia Kanepi def. (32) Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 7-5, 6-0

Halep and Muguruza pull out injured and sidelines for three weeks

Meanwhile, former world No 1s Simona Halep, the 23rd seed, and seventh seed Garbine Muguruza, pulled out of the tournament due to injury.

Halep injured her thigh last week in Indian Wells while Muguruza is nursing an injured shoulder. Both players said they will be out for three weeks.

27th seed Camila Giorgi also pulled out of the tournament on Thursday.

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