Miami Open 2021: Maria Sakkari beats Naomi Osaka to book semi-final spot | Tennis News

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Greek star Maria Sakkari joins world no 1 Ashleigh Barty and Elina Svitolina in semi-final line-up; Bianca Andreescu or Sara Sorribes Tormo will complete last four; Osaka had been unbeaten since February 2020

Last Updated: 31/03/21 9:00pm

Maria Sakkari was too strong for Naomi Osaka with a straight sets victory to reach the Miami Open semi-finals (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins via AP)

Maria Sakkari was too strong for Naomi Osaka with a straight sets victory to reach the Miami Open semi-finals (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins via AP)

Maria Sakkari produced a brilliant display to halt Naomi Osaka’s 23-match winning streak with a 6-0 6-4 victory to reach the Miami Open quarter-finals.

Osaka has been unbeaten since February 2020 in completed matches, winning the US Open in September and the Australian Open in February to take her career tally to four Grand Slam titles.

However she had no answer to Sakkari’s power in Miami as the Greek star streaked into the lead by taking the first set 6-0. Osaka led 40-0 in the opening game of the contest but Sakkari fought back to break and did not look back, breaking the Japanese twice more without losing a point.

Miami Open – Women’s Semi-Finals

Ashleigh Barty (1)vsElina Svitolina (5)
Andreescu/Sorriba TormovsMaria Sakkari (23)

Osaka looked to have settled in the second set, leading 3-0 and 4-1 to finally put her misery on her own serve behind her, but Sakkari rallied again, reeling off five games in succession to seal victory and a place in the last four.

The 25-year-old from Athens had been on the brink of elimination in the last 16 when she saved six match points to beat in-form American Jessica Pegula. And she showed all those fighting qualities again, and no little class, to seal a showdown with Elina Svitoliva in the semi-final.

Naomi Osaka has been unbeaten since February 2020 until Sakkari proved too strong n Florida (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins via AP)

Naomi Osaka has been unbeaten since February 2020 until Sakkari proved too strong n Florida (Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins via AP)

From 40-love down she won five consecutive points to break Osaka for one last time in the ninth game of the second set. She closed out the match with the minimum of fuss to end Osaka’s run and ensure the world no 2’s misery in Miami, where she has never been beyond the last eight, would continue.

In the men’s draw, Wednesday’s quarter-finals are headlined by world no 2 and top seed Daniil Medvedev who faces seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the semi-final. The winner will face either Jannick Sinner or Alexander Bublik who are the surprise names through to the last eight in the top half of the draw.

On Thursday the bottom half of the draw will pit world no 87 Sebastian Korda against fourth seed Andrey Rublev, while second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.

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