WTA Miami: Simona Halep scrapes past Hercog. Venus shines against Kasatkina


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WTA Miami: Simona Halep scrapes past Hercog. Venus shines against Kasatkina

The world no. 3 Simona Halep had to work hard to reach the fourth round in Miami, prevailing against Polona Hercog 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 49 minutes. This was their first meeting in ten years and Simona was not at her best just like in the last six months, suffering three breaks and converting four out of 13 break chances to cross the finish line first, controlling the second set tie break and never looking back after that.

The opening set lasted for an hour and Polona grabbed it with three straight games from 4-5 down, breaking Simona at love in the 11th game and saving a break point in the following one for a 7-5. The battle was even stronger in set number two where Halep opened a 5-3 advantage, only to lose serve in the very next game and stand on the verge of defeat.

She played well in the last couple of games, though, claiming the tie break 7-1 and gaining the necessary boost before the decider. There, she repelled both break points to keep the pressure on Hercog who couldn't endure it, getting broken in games three and seven and hitting the exit door when Simona held at love at 5-2.

In the fourth meeting between Venus Williams and Daria Kasatkina, the American veteran scored a dominant 6-3, 6-1 win to enter the last 16 22 years after making a debut here in Miami! The match lasted 74 minutes and Venus had the strings in her hands despite losing serve four times, presenting an incredible performance on the return to take almost 70% of the points behind Kasatkina's serve and score eight breaks from eight chances!

Kasatkina never held serve and she still stayed in touch in the first six games, with three breaks of serve on each side before Venus held at 15 in games seven and nine for a 6-3. Kasatkina never found the rhythm behind the initial shot and gave serve away four times in set number two as well, more than enough for Williams to race towards the finish line and stay in the title chase.

Yafan Wang is in the fourth round as well after a 7-5, 6-1 triumph over the 25th seed Danielle Collins in an hour and 37 minutes. They traded four breaks in the opening seven games, battling for an hour in the opener before Wang took charge with a break in game 11, holding at love a few minutes later for a 7-5 and, as it turned out, the crucial advantage.

The Chinese was the only player on the court in set number two, breaking the Australian Open semi-finalist three times in a row to secure the place in the last 16 where she will face Qiang Wang who received a walkover from Serena Williams.

Yulia Putintseva came from a set down to dismiss the 11th seed Anastasija Sevastova 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 47 minutes, beating the Latvian for the first time since 2016.