Iga Swiatek stunned in Miami as Ekaterina Alexandrova achieves rare feat against the world No 1

Shahida Jacobs
Iga Swiatek in action
Iga Swiatek of Poland reacts during her tennis match

Iga Swiatek’s hopes of winning a second Sunshine Double are over for another year as Ekaterina Alexandrova claimed a stunning win over the world No 1 in the fourth round of the Miami Open.

World No 16 Alexandrova produced a dominant display from start to finish as she overpowered the top seed 6-4, 6-2 to reach her third WTA 1000 quarter-final.

There were a couple of feats for Alexandrova as it was her first win over a reigning world No 1 while she is also only the third player not to drop serve against Swiatek in a WTA 1000 match with Svetlana Kuznetsova (Doha 2020) and Ons Jabeur (Cincinnati 2021) the other two players to achieve the rare milestone.

The Russian, who also reached the quarter-final in Miami last year, claimed her second win over Swiatek as she also defeated the Pole in Melbourne in 2021.

She broke in the opening game and never looked back as she followed it up with breaks in games three and five in the second set to set up a last-eight clash against world No 5 Jessica Pegula.

“Second quarter-final here, second year in a row,” Alexandrova said. “Beating Iga after so many tries and she’s No 1. It’s the first time I beat [a] No 1. All three things are very special to me.”

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She added: “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.”

For Swiatek it was a missed opportunity to achieve the Sunshine Double for the second time following her success in 2022, but she will leave Miami with a very handy lead over Aryna Sabalenka in the WTA Rankings after the world No 2 lost in the third round.

The four-time Grand Slam winner holds a 2,790-point advantage and she has already secured the top seed status for the French Open.

“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 hard time reading it. I got a little bit tense when I couldn’t return well.”

The Pole will now have an extended break with her next WTA Tour event scheduled for the week of April 15 as she will look to make it a hat-trick of Stuttgart Open titles. Swiatek, though, could return to action a week earlier for Poland’s Billie Jean King Cup clash against Switzerland.