Angelique Kerber advances in Miami as Dominka Cibulkova and Garbine Muguruza are ousted

World number one reaches quarter-finals in Miami after swiftly dealing with Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2017, 11:52am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2017, 11:52am

World number one Angelique Kerber reached the quarter-finals of the Miami Open after swiftly dealing with Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki in a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

But fourth-seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia crashed out to the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and ailing French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also bowed out in the fourth round.

Kerber took control early, breaking twice to establish a 4-1 lead and she was in firm control from then on.

The German said that while her opponent may only have been ranked 87th she had studied Ozaki’s game closely before the contest.

“She came through the qualies, she beat good players, so I was ready for it,” Kerber said.

“I talked with my team and I knew that she’s moving good and bringing a lot of balls back. I was trying to play my game and be aggressive.”

Kerber will face the winner of Monday’s late match between Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Safarova, ranked 36th in the world, moved into the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 victory over Cibulkova, which was her first triumph against a top 10 opponent since 2015.

Illness has disrupted Safarova’s campaigns over the past two years but the seven-time WTA title winner, looks to be on the right track.

“I feel healthy now – thank God and I’ll keep trying to push my limits more and more,” she said.

The 30-year-old Czech will face Dane Caroline Wozniacki who advanced when Spain’s Muguruza retired feeling ill after being edged in a first set tie-break.

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In an all-Czech clash, number two seed Karolina Pliskova enjoyed a 6-1, 6-4 win over Barbora Strycova.

Pliskova will come up against Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni whose impressive late career revival continued with the 35-year-old beating American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5, 6-4.

Lucic-Baroni said she was benefitting from a more thoughtful approach to preparation.

“I’ve always worked hard, but we’re working much smarter now,” she said.

“We’re not murdering me six hours a day anymore, but we’re doing good things.”

While she has never appeared in the Miami quarters before, this will be her third quarter-final appearance in her last four WTA events and she goes into the match knowing she beat Piliskova in the last eight in the Australian Open.