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WTA Round of 16, Miami – new No 1 Swiatek to face Gauff, Badosa takes on teen Fruhvirtova

The sweet 16 is set on the women’s side at the Miami Open. We take a look at each matchup before the action starts.

Iga Swiatek (POL) is presented a bouquet for becoming the number one women's player in the world after her victory over Victorija Golubic (SUI) (not pictured) in a second round women's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Iga Swiatek (POL) is presented a bouquet for becoming the number one women’s player in the world after her victory over Victorija Golubic (SUI) (not pictured) in a second round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium.

The sweet 16 is set on the WTA side at the Miami Open, with a diverse mix of talent set to battle for a spot in the quarterfinals. Let’s have a look inside each of the eight enticing matchups on tap.

Miami Open 2022: Women’s Singles Draw Results Order of Play

TOP HALF

Aliaksandra Sasnovic vs [21] Belinda Bencic

Bencic returns to the round of 16 at Miami for the first time since 2017, when she was a wide-eyed 18-year-old. The 21st-seeded Swiss has lost her only previous meeting to the dangerous Sasnovich – they met in the first round at the US Open in 2018.

Daria Saville vs Lucia Bronzetti

Italy’s Bronzetti is the first lucky loser to reach the round of 16 at Miami since Gisela Dulko in 2004. The 23-year-old lost in the final round of qualifying to China’s Wang Qiang, but bounced back in the main draw to earn wins over Ajla Tomljanovic and Stefanie Voegele.

Saville missed most of 2021 due to Achilles surgery, but returned with a vengeance at Indian Wells, where she qualified and reached the quarterfinals. The 28-year-old wild card comes in ranked at 249 this week – low but not the lowest in the round of 16 field.

Alison Riske vs Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka is rounding into form this month, and she made a strong statement in her second-round win against three-time Slam champion Angelique Kerber. Osaka, ranked 77, dropped just five games in a dominant performance. She is looking to match her quarterfinal run of 2021 when she meets American Alison Riske.

The pair have split their two tour-level meetings with Osaka taking their only meeting on hard court.

[9] Danielle Collins vs [8] Ons Jabeur

Danielle Collins told reporters before Miami that she has her eyes set on reaching the top-5 by the end of the year. To do that the American will have to win big matches like her round of 16 matchup with Ons Jabeur, the talented Tunisian that hasn’t really gotten her game on track in 2022, due to injuries. Jabeur has reached quarterfinals at Sydney, Doha and Dubai, but fell last week to Gavrilova in the first round at Indian Wells.

BOTTOM HALF

[5] Paula Badosa vs Linda Fruhvirtova

World No 279 Linda Fruhvirtova – the lowest-ranked WTA player remaining in the Miami draw – is currently residing on cloud nine, the 16-year-old having racked up back-to-back top-25 wins in Miami to become the youngest woman into the round of 16 since 2004. In doing so, the talented Czech has earned herself the ultimate challenge: facing No 5 seeded Paula Badosa, who is playing punishing, pugilistic tennis of late.

Badosa reached the semifinals in her Indian Wells title defense, and she has been nothing short of stellar thus far at Miami, powering past Marie Bouzkova and Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.

Win or lose, facing a juggernaut like the Spaniard will be a formative experience for the talented Czech.

[16] Jessica Pegula vs Anhelina Kalinina

Some of the more recognizable Ukrainian players have dropped out of the singles draw, but Anhelina Kalinina, a talented 25-year-old that is just three spots shy of her career-high ranking at No 51 in the world is flying the flag for her nation. The Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine native has come through a trio of three-setters to notch her first round of 16 appearance at Miami.

Pegula, who took out Elena Rybakina on Sunday, has reached the round of 16 at Miami in the last two years. She defeated Kalinina 7-5 in the third set in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.

[28] Petra Kvitova vs [21] Veronika Kudermetova

Two-time Miami quarterfinalist Kvitova is having a hard time winning more matches than she loses in 2021 (8-7 on the season after Sunday’s win), but she has picked up her form in Miami, reaching the round of 16 without dropping a set. Her next round will be tricky, however. Veronika Kudermetova has been coming into her own over the last 52 weeks. She defeated Naomi Osaka last week at Indian Wells en route to the quarter-finals, and improved to 13-6 on the season with her third-round win over American Shelby Rogers on Sunday.

[2] Iga Swiatek vs [14] Coco Gauff

New No 1 Iga Swiatek is playing like someone who intends to hang on to the top spot in WTA rankings for as long as she can. The 20-year-old, who will rise to No 1 on April 4 when the new rankings are released after Miami, has played flawless tennis in Miami. She eased past Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-0 on Friday, showing no nerves whatsoever. On Sunday she waltzed past American Madison Brengle to improve to an impressive 22-3 on the season.

Gauff has had some ups and downs on the year, but she is hitting her stride in her home state. The 18-year-old has come through battles with Wang Qiang, the player that knocked her out of the Australian Open, and Zhang Shuai, in straight sets to reach the round of 16.

Swiatek won the pair’s only previous meeting, 7-6, 6-3, at Rome last year, in the semifinals.

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