Ana Konjuh continued her comeback from elbow surgery with a solid 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory over No. 15 seed Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Miami Open on Saturday.
The 23-year-old had her career derailed by a right elbow injury in 2017 and has won three straight main-draw matches this week for the first time since reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2017.
The Croatian recorded 10 aces and compiled 40 winners while knocking off the 19-year-old Pole in two hours, 14 minutes. Swiatek had 27 winners.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Konjuh said. “I just told myself I need to stay and be offensive and not give her many chances. That second set maybe I screwed up a little bit, but overall, credit to her. You know, she stepped up her game.
“But I just wanted to stay mentally in it in those key moments just to be able to, you know, produce some great shots. I did that.”
Konjuh was ranked as high as No. 20 prior to her elbow injury. She is currently ranked 338th while displaying her previous form.
Konjuh will next face Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, who won in a walkover when third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania withdrew with a right shoulder injury.
“I’m very sorry I have to pull out of singles and doubles at the Miami Open, but my injury doesn’t let me play here as expected,” Halep said in a statement. “I’m sad that I can’t continue, I wanted to come here to give my best and play many matches but unfortunately I can’t. Hopefully next year I will be back healthy and better.”
Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty moved on with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko.
World No. 1 Barty will next face a former No. 1 in Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
The 14th-seeded Azarenka moved on with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over No. 24 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina advanced with a 7-6 (1), 6-4 triumph over 30th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Svitolina will next face ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. Kvitova rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over 17th-seeded Johanna Konta of Great Britain.
Also, seventh-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus posted a 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory over 32nd-ranked Veronika Kudermetova of Russia.
Sabalenka next faces 19th-seeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who rallied for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over 11th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
–Field Level Media