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No 1 seed Swiatek out of Miami Open after Alexandrova defeat

Iga Swiatek’s hopes of landing another ‘Sunshine Double’ ended in a 6-4 6-2 fourth-round loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Miami Open.

Swiatek, who won the first leg at Indian Wells earlier this month, was completely outplayed by the Russian world No 16, who claimed the biggest win of her career.

The top seed, who captured the Sunshine Double in 2022, never broke Alexandrova’s serve and had no answer to her powerful and precise groundstrokes under the lights in Florida.

“I just went out on the court and did my best, I think it went quite well,” Alexandrova said. “We played quite a few times before and sometimes it was three sets. I think sometimes I was quite close to it, but still far away.

“Winning against her, of course it feels great. I’m not sure if it’s a surprise or not, but I just worked quite hard on the court, and it paid off.”

It was Alexandrova’s second win over Swiatek, following a 2021 victory in Melbourne. The Pole had won their three matches since.

The No 14 seed will face fifth seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals after she overcame fellow American Emma Navarro 7-6(7-1) 6-3.

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Ekaterina Alexandrova, of Russia, celebrates after beating Iga Swiatek, of Poland, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 25, 2024, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Image: Ekaterina Alexandrova celebrates after beating Iga Swiatek

Swiatek rallied from a set down and beat Linda Noskova a day earlier but struggled against Alexandrova.

“Disappointed for sure because I thought I was going to play better here in Miami,” Swiatek said. “But she played an amazing match and for sure, she was the better player out there today.

“Her serve, I had a had time reading it. I got a little bit tense when I couldn’t return well.”

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