Miami Open: Naomi Osaka progresses after injured Karolina Muchova pulls out

Naomi Osaka celebrates after her match

Former World No 1 Naomi Osaka received a walkover at the Miami Open after her third round opponent Karolina Muchova was forced to withdraw.

Muchova could not compete in the match due to a left abdominal injury on Saturday.

Muchova and Osaka had been slated to play for the third time in their careers, after splitting the first two meetings.

As a result of the walkover, Osaka is into the fourth round in Miami for the second year running.

In 2021, Osaka reached the quarterfinals in her best-ever tournament result as the event played out in an unusual fall slot.

Muchova defeated reigning US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez in the previous round but she aggravated an injury in the process.

The Japanese star will face either Ann Li or Alison Riske, both of the United States, next.

Four-time Grand Slam singles winner Osaka has made a successful start to her campaign in Miami, which followed a tearful exit at Indian Wells earlier this month.

The 24-year-old eliminated 13th seed Angelique Kerber in the second round on Thursday.

Lucky loser Lucia Bronzetti of Italy also moved through to the Round of 16 via a walkover as Anna Kalinskaya joined the walking wounded with a left arm injury.

Bronzetti will next face wildcard Daria Saville of Australia.

In a curious twist Saville also had her passage through to the last 16 eased, as Katerina Siniakova retired from their clash after losing the first seven games.

The former Top 20-ranked Australian, making a WTA Tour comeback following Achilles surgery, and also reached the fourth round in Indian Wells as a qualifier.

Meanwhile Bronzetti, ranked World No.102, is in the midst of something of a breakthrough as she goes on a tear in her first WTA 1000 main draw.

The women’s draw has lost 18 seeds before the second round but former No 1 Naomi Osaka and newly crowned rankings queen Iga Swiatek look strong contenders for the WTA 1000 crown

Swiatek has not lost in a WTA 1000 level event this season, having claimed the Qatar Open and Indian Wells Masters titles.