Miami Open: Jelena Ostapenko and Elise Mertens exits set a new record
The defeats of Jelena Ostapenko and Elise Mertens brought to 18 the number of seeds eliminated from the WTA side of the Miami Open draw.
Shelby Rogers upset Ostapenko for the second tournament in a row beating her 6-3, 7-6(0) to ensure the American contingent remains strong.
Mertens lost a three-set battle to Czech teenager Linda Fruhvirtova.
Rogers claimed her first win in four meetings with Ostapenko 7-5, 7-6(7) in the second round of Indian Wells two weeks ago, and reprised the outcome at the same stage of Miami in 1 hour and 34 minutes.
The result was Rogers’ 22nd career Top 20 victory.
While Rogers’ biggest weapon was her serve, Ostapenko was frequently spectacular off the ground. However, Ostapenko suffered inconsistency on her backhand side in particular and was made to pay.
Rogers sent down an incredible 15 aces in total on her path to the third round.
Three came in one game to take a 4-3 lead, two more helped her survive four deuces to serve out the first set and the final trio arrived in an immaculate second-set tiebreak whitewash.
Ostapenko cut a frustrated figure, at one point loudly disputing a hawkeye call.
Veronika Kudermetova now stands between Rogers and a first trip to the Miami Open fourth round.
Meanwhile, No 14 seed Coco Gauff got a measure of revenge for her Australian Open loss to Wang Qiang.
Gauff defeated the qualifier 7-5, 6-4 to notch her first win over the 101st ranked 30-year-old from Tianjin.
“I was just super-motivated today,” said Gauff afterwards.
“Extra motivation because I’m playing at home, and also because I lost before.
“I feel like everything was working for me today, but especially my mindset – I had an opportunity to serve out the first set and also the last one, but I got broken. But I’m happy that I was able to break back.”
Elsewhere, No 17 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan claimed her first ever win in at the Miami Open with a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Elena-Gabriela Ruse.
Rybakina came from 3-0 down in the second set to defeat the Romanian in a first-time encounter.
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