Top seeds Medvedev, Osaka crash out of Miami Open

Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the Miami Open Wednesday on a day of upsets that also saw Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka ousted from the quarter-finals.

Seventh-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut beat Medvedev 6-4, 6-2, for his third win in as many meetings with the Russian who was runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and ascended to No. 2 in the world with his victory at Marseille in March.

Women’s world No. 2 Osaka — seeded second behind top-ranked Ashleigh Barty in the prestigious ATP Masters and WTA hardcourt tournament — had bowed out hours earlier, the Japanese star’s 23-match winning streak coming to a crashing halt with a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

Medvedev and Osaka. Photo: AFP

Bautista booked a semi-final showdown with 19-year-old Italian Jannick Sinner, the world No. 31 who beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

Sakkari will face eighth-seeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu for a place in the women’s final.

Andreescu, ranked ninth in the world, clawed out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over tenacious 58th-ranked Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Osaka, playing her first tournament since lifting her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, won just eight points in the first set as she failed to muster a single winner.

Osaka broke in the second game of the second set and seized a 3-0 lead before Sakkari roared back for a victory that ended Osaka’s chance of overtaking Australia’s Barty — who had already booked her semi-final spot — atop the world rankings this week.

Osaka acknowledged that the rankings race may have affected her against Greece’s 25th-ranked Sakkari.

“The last time I was in this (press conference) seat, I wasn’t really thinking at all about rankings, but someone asked me that question, so then I did start to ponder about it a lot.

“So maybe unwillingly that put pressure on myself. But I feel like even if it did, I should be able to rise above that,” Osaka said.

Osaka hadn’t dropped a set at love since her last defeat, which came in February 2020 in a Fed Cup match.

“She has the most wins so far this year so she’s in great form — it meant a lot to me,” said Sakkari, who let loose a scream of delight after the final point.

“To be deadly honest, I got a little tight in the first two games of the second set,” said Sakkari, who had saved six match points in her fourth-round win over American Jessica Pegula.

“I stayed within myself and started fighting back, hitting a few more balls and winning a few points against her.”

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