Miami: Naomi Osaka fails to set up Coco Gauff match, Iga Swiatek survives scare

Osaka out of Miami but Gauff and Swiatek continue their run.

by Dzevad Mesic
Miami: Naomi Osaka fails to set up Coco Gauff match, Iga Swiatek survives scare
© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek have sealed Miami Open round-of-16 tickets, while Naomi Osaka exited the tournament and again failed to set up a highly-anticipated match against the 2023 US Open champion. 

Gauff, seeded at No. 3, overcame an early scare to beat 84th-ranked qualifier Oceane Dodin 6-4 6-0. 

Early in their first meeting, 27-year-old Dodin claimed an early break and had a 4-2 lead and two break points to go up by a double break. But Gauff managed to avoid going down by an early break and that was the beginning of the end for Dodin as the American tennis star didn't drop a single game in the remainder of the match. 

After winning the last 10 games of the match against Dodin, Gauff booked a round-of-16 ticket and awaited the winner of the match between Osaka and Caroline Garcia.

Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Osaka loses to Garcia, fails to set up a Gauff match in Miami

Osaka and Garcia, who were considered the highlight matchup of Miami's third-round action, certainly didn't disappoint as they delivered some fireworks and high-level tennis. Unfortunately for Osaka, it was Garcia who progressed into the next stage and set up a Gauff meeting after claiming a 7-6 (4) 7-5 win.

With Garcia 5-4 up and Osaka serving to stay in the first set, the Frenchwoman had a set point but the Japanese former world No. 1 saved it to level the opener to five games apiece. In the next game, Osaka didn't convert a break point but she also saved two more set points in the 12th game to force a tie-break. 

After not a single break was seen in the first set, Garcia got off to a very strong start to the tie-break, opening a 6-2 lead before finally converting her sixth set point to win a tight opener.

Down by a set, Osaka claimed the first break of the match in the sixth game of the second set for a 4-2 lead. But just when it seemed that the momentum was shifting Osaka's way, the four-time Grand Slam champion suffered breaks in the seventh and 11th games and ended up losing in tight two sets to Garcia.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

In Indian Wells, Osaka also made the third round before losing to Elise Mertens - had the Japanese won that match, she would have faced Gauff in the round-of-16 in the desert.

How Swiatek came back to beat Noskova?

After losing to Noskova at the Australian Open, Swiatek found herself a set away from losing to the Czech again before completing a 6-7 (7) 6-4 6-4 comeback win. 

In the first set, Swiatek was twice up by a break - including having a 5-2 lead - but then stunningly failed to close out the first set, which ultimately went into a tie-break. In the first-set tie-break, Swiatek missed out on a set point before Noskova converted her second set point to complete the steal of the opener. 

After losing the first set in a very frustrating way, Swiatek bounced back at the start of the second set, claiming breaks in the first and fifth games en route to opening a 5-1 lead. But Noskova once again refused to quit as she managed to get one break back in the eighth game and the Czech also had a break point in the 10th game to fully get back into the second set - but Swiatek saved it before realizing her first set point to send the match into a decider.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Brennan Asplen

In the third set, Swiatek claimed the first and the lone break of the set in the fifth game to complete her big comeback win and set up a match against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Naomi Osaka Coco Gauff Iga Swiatek