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Victories for top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek at Miami Open

Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Iga Swiatek all secured wins at the Hard Rock Stadium on Super Saturday at the Miami Open.

The same rain that disrupted play Friday returned to delay the start of play for about three hours, but that did not prevent the crowd from watching a star-studded Saturday slate.

The first one from the quartet to play was World No. 3 Jannik Sinner, who scored a 6-3, 6-4 win over countryman Andrea Vavassori, who had qualified into the main draw. During the completion of the match that started Friday, the 2024 Australian Open champion Sinner won 33 of 36 first-serve points played (92%).

Up next for the Italian is Netherlands' Talon Griekspoor, an opponent he defeated in all three previous encounters.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek opened her bid to be the second woman in professional tennis to win the Sunshine Double twice cruising past Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-1 6-1 in almost one hour.

"It was great, as usual, here. Very happy I had an opportunity to play on center court because it's been two years. I was feeling pretty confident, and I just wanted to see how I was going to feel the surface," she explained during her post-match press conference.

With the near-flawless win, the Polish reaches the 81-19 mark in her first 100 WTA-1000 matches, tying Maria Sharapova and only behind Serena Williams (87-13).

Swiatek now takes on Linda Noskova, with whom she holds a 2-1 score overall in three previous matches played. This will be their third meeting in the 2024 season: The 19-year-old Czech prevailed in a three-setter in the Australian Open, but Iga won in Indian Wells.

"Playing against her is tough, as you could see in Australia. I'm going to focus on myself and learn what I did wrong, what I did well on our last matches, and just use that knowledge so I can play solidly, really efficiently".

Daniil Medvedev started strong in his title defense, beating Hungary's Marton Fucsovics on Grandstand 6-4, 6-2 in 1 hour and 19 minutes. The World No. 4 had won 81% of his first serve points and was able to save the only two break points he face.

Cameron Norrie, the No. 30 seed, is the next after the British prevailed over Italian Flavio Cobolli 7-5 6-7(4), 6-2 in 2 hours and 33 minutes.

Opening the night session slate, Carlos Alcaraz spoiled Roberto Carballes Baena's 31st birthday celebrations with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. The World No. 2 barely gave his opponent any chances, to the joy of the crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium.

The 20-year-old is on a seven-match winning streak, and he has not been beaten by a Spaniard in the last 11 matches – the last one to do so was Rafael Nadal in the 2022 Indian Wells semifinal.

"Every player has his style, but probably mine is a little bit different to other Spaniards. I don't know, I am more aggressive, I think my ball goes faster. I have a lot of things that I can do on the court, and that probably was the difference for today's match."

The 2022 Miami Open champion waits for the winner of the clash between Frenchman Gael Monfils and Australia's Jordan Thompson.

On the last match of the day in the Stadium, Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, the No. 32 seed, upset World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 1-6 6-1. This was the Ukrainian's first victory over a Top 10 player this season, after posting a record of 1-5 against opponents at this level last year.

Another upset happened to open play in the Stadium: qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild defeated No.12 seed Taylor Fritz, the best-ranked American player in the draw, 6-3 6-4.

This is not uncharted waters for the 24-year-old Brazilian, who comes from reaching the third round in Indian Wells, including a victory over World No. 15 Karen Khachanov. He is now 4-4 against Top 20 players.

Another high-seeded player to leave the men's draw was Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas. The No. 10 seed was halted by Canada's Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-4. It is the first time the Greek leaves Miami before the fourth round – his best appearance was in 2021 when he reached the quarterfinals.

Tommy Paul, the No. 13 seed, had to retire during his match against wild card Martin Damm in an All-American clash due to an ankle injury.

The 20-year-old Damm, who had played just his second ATP Tour match of his career, now plays Australian Christopher O'Connell, who took out Boca Raton resident Frances Tiafoe, seeded as No. 21, 7-5 7-6(5).

Boca Raton resident Jessica Pegula advanced to the third round due to the retirement of Zhu Lin because of an injury. The two-time Miami Open semifinalist will face Leylah Fernandez, the No. 31 seed.

Another unseeded player who is in the third round is former World No. 1 Andy Murray. The two-time Miami Open champion snapped a nine-match losing streak against Top 50 players by defeating 7-6(0) 6-3 Argentina's Tomas Etcheverry, who had beaten him in the first round of the 2024 Australian Open.

"It's just nice to get another opportunity to play a match here. And always when you're playing against the South American players, there's an intense atmosphere, but you know, I have a lot of support on my side as well. This is going to be my last time playing in Miami. So yeah, I want to play well and have good memories," explained Murray.

The British now faces Tomas Machac, who halted No.5 seed Andrey Rublev on Friday. The Czech won their only previous encounter, this year in Marseille.

On Court Butch Buchholz, former World No. 1 Naomi Osaka won the "all-mother clash" against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, seeded at No. 15, 6-2 7-6(5). Next up for the Japanese is Caroline Garcia from France, the No. 23 seed.

Three-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka went through the third round, prevailing over Qinwen Zheng, the No. 7 seed, 6-4 7-5. On Grandstand, 2023 Miami Open runner-up Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed, ended American qualifier Taylor Townsend's dream run by prevailing 6-3 6-7(3) 6-4 in a clash that lasted 2 hours and 22 minutes.

A trio of women's seeds were upset: Elina Avanesyan defeated No. 6 seed Ons Jabeur 6-1 4-6 6-3; Anna Kalinskaya, the 22nd seed, took out No. 9 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-1; and Katie Boulter, the 24th seed, downed No. 11 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-3.

Other men's seeds to advance were No. 4 Alexander Zverev, who defeated Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 6-4; Polish Hubert Hurkacz, the No. 8 seed and 2021 Miami Open champion, who overcame Kazakhstan's Alexander Shevchenko 6-4 6-7(2) 6-3; and Norwegian Casper Ruud, the No. 7 seed, halting France's Luca van Assche 7-6(5) 1-6 6-1.

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