Miami, March 28 (IANS) World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka advanced to her fifth quarterfinal of the season after defeating No.16 seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth round of the Miami Open.
With a straight-set win on Monday, Sabalenka improved her tour-leading record to 20-2 on the season. This was the third meeting of the season between Sabalenka and Krejcikova, with all three coming at the first three WTA 1000 events of the season.
Krejcikova snapped Sabalenka's 13-match win streak in February en route to the title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Sabalenka got her revenge two weeks ago at the BNP Paribas Open.
"I'm super happy with my level today, it's always tough against Barbora. I think the key today was my serve, I just put so much pressure on her. I could play free, go for the lines, hit the ball a little bit harder," said Sabalenka.
"I think in the last two matches I won the first set and every time in the second set I would get crazy on court and talking to myself, lose it a little bit. Today I tried to stay focused no matter what, keep doing my thing, and focus on myself," she said.
Sabalenka will next face Romania's Sorana Cirstea, who has reached back-to-back quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Miami. The 32-year-old has beaten Czech Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(3), 6-4.
On the other hand, Jessica Pegula is on a roll as she prevailed over Poland's Magda Linette, 6-1, 7-5. This is the fifth time the American reached the quarterfinals this season, and her fifth win over a top 20 player this season.
Pegula's quarterfinal opponent will be Anastasia Potapova. It's a rematch of their third-round match at the Indian wells, won by Pegula only 16 days ago in three sets.
"It's going to be really tough. I just played her in Indian Wells and we really had a battle. She was playing at a really high level. She has been, for the last two, three tournaments she's been playing well. She's confident right now, she's swinging for the fences," Pegula said of Potapova.
"I think she probably likes these conditions a little fast. I'm going to take what I learned from playing her last time and I'm sure she's going to do the same thing and we're going to have a good match."