Reigning Wimbledon and Indian Wells Open champion Elena Rybakina extended her winning streak to 11 matches with Monday's 6-4 6-3 victory over Elise Mertens in the Miami Open fourth round.
Rybakina, 23, has been one of the most in-form talents in the sport this year, with her only two losses since the start of the Australian Open coming in three-setters against Aryna Sabalenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia.
The Kazakhstan representative produced 10 aces against Mertens on her way into the quarter-finals, becoming the first player this WTA season to finish with at least 10 aces in three consecutive matches.
She will look to keep her sparkling form alive when she meets Martina Trevisan for a spot in the semi-finals, after the Italian got the better of Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3.
10+ - Elena Rybakina is the first female player to serve 10+ aces in three consecutive matches this season. Hailstorm.#MiamiOpen | @WTA @WTA_insider @MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/Hi6EmfakhW— OptaAce (@OptaAce) March 27, 2023
Sabalenka showed why she is the top remaining seed after Iga Swiatek's withdrawal, beating 16th seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 6-2. Krejcikova was one of two players this season to beat Sabalenka – with Rybakina the other – and by avenging that defeat the Belarusian improved her record in 2023 to 20-2.
America's top hope Jessica Pegula needed only 79 minutes to eliminate Magda Linette 6-1 7-5, winning the first five games of the match to set the tone early, and she will now meet Russia's Anastasia Potapova in the quarters.
Potapova finished with just one ace compared to Qinwen Zheng's nine, but she showed enough guile to overcome the Chinese international's power advantage.
Romania's Sorana Cirstea kept her great run going with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 triumph over Marketa Vondrousova, making it eight wins from her past nine matches, and Bianca Andreescu was forced to retire through injury while down a set 7-6 (7-0) 0-2 against Ekaterina Alexandrova.
YET to drop a set @sorana_cirstea takes out Vondrousova 7-6(3), 6-4 to reach her first quarterfinal in Miami where she will face either Krejcikova or Sabalenka...#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/WM02HKNgEP— wta (@WTA) March 27, 2023