Iga Swiatek Hosts Miami Open Final Against Naomi Osaka | Tennis News

Second seed Iga Swiatek will face Naomi Osaka for the Miami Open title after the Pole beat American Jessica Pegula in the semifinals on Thursday.
After Japan’s Osaka beat Belinda Bencic 4-6, 6-.3 6-4 earlier in the day, Swiatek, who will become world number one on Monday, picked up her 16th consecutive victory with a 6-2 victory , 7-5 over Pegula to reach a third consecutive WTA 1000 final.
Swiatek came through the first set but had to fight back after an early fall in the second. She squandered two match points at 5-4 before sealing victory two games later.

The 21-year-old is the first player to appear in back-to-back Indian Wells and Miami finals since Victoria Azarenka won the ‘Sunshine Double’ in 2016.
Swiatek has only faced Osaka once, with the Japanese player winning in straight sets in Toronto in 2019.
“My second match on the WTA Tour, when I felt like I had a breakthrough, was against her (Osaka),” said Swiatek, who will top the standings after Ash Barty retires.
“Even though I lost that match, it inspired me to work harder because she was number one at the time. Right now I feel like I’m on a different level, so I can actually compete… We’ll see how it goes to go there. I’m really excited.

Four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka fired 18 aces as she beat Olympic champion Bencic to reach her first Miami Open final.
Osaka conceded just two first-serve points in the first set but was unable to convert when it counted as Bencic saved a pair of break points in the second game.
Osaka, who hadn’t dropped a set in the tournament, then lost serve in the third game and again in the fifth.
The pair traded breaks early in the second set before Osaka gained momentum after breaking in game six.

“She had a really amazing return of serve – there were times when I thought I had hit some good serves, but she only hit winners,” Osaka said.
“(I was) just struggling with my inner thoughts and trying to know that I have to play one point at a time and adapt if I have to, but try not to overwhelm myself with my thoughts. ”
Osaka saved five of six break points in the third before closing the match with an ace and a smile, after reaching her first final since her second Australian Open title a year ago.

“I feel like if I had been negative for a split second, I would have lost the match today,” said Osaka, who will play his fourth WTA 1000 showpiece on Saturday.
“I have to keep motivating myself and I haven’t played as many games as a lot of these other players, so I just have to keep learning.”

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