World No. 70 Irina Begu pulled off an upset on Thursday night in Miami as she sent top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka packing out of the tournament. Begu, a former world No. 22, handed a 6-4 6-4 defeat to Sabalenka in the Miami Masters second round.
It was the first meeting between Begu and Sabalenka. "I think I was really consistent the whole match," Begu said. "I was serving well. I was playing for every ball, I was trying to hang in there and that was really important for me."
Begu gets the job done in straight sets
Sabalenka had the first break point of the match but Begu saved a break point in the second game to level the set at one game apiece. After saving a break point in the second game, Begu earned her first break point opportunity in the seventh game and realized it to take a 4-3 lead.
Begu then didn't allow Sabalenka a single break point in the rest of the set to win the opener. Sabalenka had a great chance to bounce back from losing the first set but she blew four break points in the second game of the second set.
Sabalenka paid the price for missing out on four break points as Begu claimed the first break of the second set in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Sabalenka had a chance to quickly get back into the set but she failed to convert another break point in the fourth game as Begu took a 3-1 lead.
Sabalenka saved two break points in the seventh game to avoid going down by a double break but also failed to convert a break point in the eighth game as Begu took a 5-3 lead in the second set. Bego punished Sabalenka for missed break point chances as the Romanian served out for the match in the 10th game.
Begu will be fighting against Aliaksandra Sasnovich for a place in the Miami round-of-16. Begu is bidding to reach the Miami round-of-16 for the second time in her career.