Miami Open 2021: Maria Sakkari beats Naomi Osaka to book semi-final spot
Greek star Maria Sakkari joins world no 1 Ashleigh Barty, Bianca Andreescu and Elina Svitolina in semi-final line-up; Osaka had been unbeaten since February 2020
Last Updated: 01/04/21 9:18am
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 player 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.
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Miami Open - Women's Semi-Finals
|Ashleigh Barty (1)||vs||Elina Svitolina (5)|
|Bianca Andreescu (8)||vs||Maria 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. She showed all those fighting qualities again, and no little class, to seal a showdown with Elina Svitoliva in the semi-final.
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.
Canada's Bianca Andreescu completed the semi-final line-up with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in a match that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours.
In the men's draw, world no 2 Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the tournament meaning the Masters will have a new champion.
Four of the top six on the men's tour have skipped Miami, and the Russian top seed was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, meaning the six players remaining in the event have never won a title at 1000 level.
Bautista Agut maintained his perfect record against Medvedev to inflict just a third defeat of the season on the Russian who was beaten in the Australian Open final by Novak Djokovic.
The Spaniard is into his fourth Masters level semi-final, with his best performance being a runners-up finish in Shanghai in 2016. He will face talented Italian teenager Jannik Sinner for a place in Sunday's final after the 19-year-old beat Alexander Bublik 7-6 6-4.
Miami Open - Men's Quarter-Finals
|Roberto Bautista Agut (7)||bt||Daniil Medvedev (1)|
|Jannik Sinner (21)||bt||Alexander Bublik|
|Sebastian Korda||vs||Andrey Rublev (4)|
|Hubert Hurkacz (26)||vs||Stefanos Tsitsipas (2)|
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.