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Beatriz Haddad Maia stuns Maria Sakkari at Miami Open

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Karolina Pliskova of Czechia returns the ball to Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil during their round three match of the BNP Paribas Open, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif.
Credit: Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Unheralded Beatriz Haddad Maia dominated the final two sets and recorded a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece on Friday to advance to the third round of the Miami Open.

The left-hander from Brazil converted five of her seven break points while defeating a top-five-ranked player for the third time in her career. Sakkari is ranked third in the world.

“I knew the match would be tough,” Haddad Maia said. “She has been doing very good results, I think she’s in her best tennis now. I knew that I had to leave everything on the court and try to do my best.

“I tried to be more aggressive as the match was going further and trying to do my best shots. I think mentally I was very competitive, and that’s why I could get this win, so I’m very happy with that.”

The 25-year-old Haddad Maia’s other top five wins were against then-No. 4 Sloane Stephens in 2019 at Acapulco and then-No. 3 Karolina Pliskova last year at Indian Wells.

Sakkari had six double faults during the setback to a player ranked 62nd in the world.

Also posting a big second-round upset was 16-year-old wild card Linda Fruhvirtova, who posted a 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 victory over 20th-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium.

The Czech Republic native saved nine of 12 break points while stunning Mertens.

“It’s unbelievable,” Fruhvirtova said. “I worked really hard for this and I’m enjoying it.”

American Shelby Rogers also delivered an upset as she posted a 6-3, 7-6 (0) victory over 10th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

American Cori Gauff, seeded 14th, registered a 7-5, 6-4 victory over China’s Qiang Wang, while No. 16 seed Jessica Pegula dispatched Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-4 in an All-American matchup.

Two unseeded Americans also advanced: Lauren Davis knocked off Australia’s Storm Sanders 6-4, 6-1 and Madison Brengle notched a 6-4, 6-0 victory over 29th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.

Second-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland, fresh off winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., routed Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-0.

Fifth-seeded Paula Badosa of Spain advanced with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

In others matches involving seeded players, No. 17 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania, and No. 21 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia had a 5-1 lead in the opening set when Hungary’s Dalma Galfi retired.

China’s Shuai Zhang beat No. 24 Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-1, and No. 28 Czech Petra Kvitova posted a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over France’s Clara Burel.

–Field Level Media