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Naomi Osaka trounces Angelique Kerber at Miami Open

Sportsnaut
Mar 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Naomi Osaka (JPN) reacts after match point against Angelique Kerber (GER) (not pictured) in a second round women's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka was in top form on Thursday and converted 88.9 percent of her first-serve points while rolling to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 13th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany in the second round of the Miami Open on Thursday.

Osaka served six aces without a double fault while finishing off Kerber in 60 minutes.

“She’s like the first high-seeded player I’ve beaten this year,” Osaka said on-court after the win. “I feel like I came into the match wanting to dictate. My power on the shots was working really well.”

It marked just the second time in six career meetings that Osaka defeated Kerber.

Kerber won just 59.5 percent of her first-serve points.

Osaka will next face Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, who registered a 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over 18th-seeded Leylah Fernandez of Canada on Thursday.

The upset win came during Muchova’s first tournament since last summer’s U.S. Open. She has been out with an abdominal injury.

Muchova won 71.2 percent of her first-serve points against Fernandez, a U.S. Open finalist last year.

Muchova said after the match that she was physically spent.

“(After an injury) you can do whatever fitness, but the match is something else,” Muchova said. “For me it was a win just to play and compete again.”

Last year’s U.S. Open champion, 11th-seeded Emma Raducanu, was also upset in the second round. Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic sent the Brit packing with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.

Siniakova saved 12 of 17 break points while Raducanu saved just 3 of 9 opportunities.

Meanwhile, ninth-seeded Floridian Danielle Collins returned from an illness to post a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win over Hungary’s Anna Bondar. It was Collins’ first victory since reaching the final of the Australian Open.

Collins was sidelined the last five-plus weeks due to what she termed a viral illness. She retired during a match in Dubai on Feb. 15 due to dizziness and withdrew from Indian Wells earlier this month.

Russian Anna Kalinskaya upset No. 6 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3. Pliskova served up 10 aces but also committed nine double faults. No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia advanced with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over Poland’s Magda Linette, while Great Britain’s Heather Watson beat 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

In other matches involving seeded players, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus posted a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over 25th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina; American Alison Riske defeated 31st-seeded Alize Cornet of France 6-2, 6-2, and Kaia Kanepi of Estonia notched a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 win over 32nd-seeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.

–Field Level Media