WTA 1000 MIAMI OPEN by Emiliano Naftali
Elena Rybakina, the World No.7, overcame a set deficit to defeat former World No.2 Paula Badosa 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the third round of the Miami Open. With this victory, Rybakina’s winning streak extends to 10 matches, and she keeps alive her chances of clinching the Sunshine Double after winning the Indian Wells title last week.
In the Round of 16, Rybakina will face Elise Mertens, who secured a spot in her first fourth round at a WTA 1000 this season by beating 29th seed Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in a match that ended well past 1 a.m. ET.
Although Rybakina won the Indian Wells title just a week ago, she had to go the distance in her first two matches in Miami. In the opening round, she defeated Anna Kalinskaya 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, but the result was rarely in doubt.
However, facing Badosa, whom she has played seven times in her career, was a different challenge. Although Badosa is struggling at the start of her 2023 campaign and has dropped down to No.29 in the rankings, she held a 4-2 lead in their head-to-head encounters. Additionally, Badosa recently parted ways with her coach Jorge Garcia, which added to the challenge for Rybakina.