No.3 seed Petra Kvitova kept her Miami Open campaign – and her quest for the WTA World No.1 ranking – alive on Monday, needing two sets against Caroline Garcia to book her spot into the quarterfinals.
Kvitova put on a dominating performance at the Hard Rock Stadium’s center court, raining down 26 winners against Garcia and weathering a two-hour-long rain delay en route to a tidy 6-3, 6-3 victory.
The Frenchwoman came into the match on a high after recording wins over Victoria Azarenka and No.15 seed Julia Goerges – out-acing the big-serving German in the process. But that serve was nowhere to be seen against Kvitova, who stayed aggressive on the returns to take advantage of Garcia’s vulnerable deliveries.
A shaky first service game from Garcia – complete with a double fault, the first of four in the match – gave an early break to Kvitova, who backed it up to start the match with a 2-0 lead. Kvitova continued to keep the pressure on the Garcia serve, bringing another pair of break chances at 3-2 before finally breaking again late in the set, converting her second set point to clinch it with confidence.
Kvitova continued her momentum in the second set, breaking Garcia at 3-1 and keeping her nose in front against the Frenchwoman’s attacking. Kvitova’s serve was firing and she recorded two love games off her server as Garcia tried to come up with answers for her opponent’s booming lefty delivery.
A rain delay at 5-2 halted Kvitova’s momentum, with Garcia poised to serve to try to stay in the match. About two hours later, upon resumption, she posted a strong hold to love but it wasn’t enough to spark a turnaround as Kvitova quickly served out the match in straight sets.
The win sends Kvitova through to the Miami Open quarterfinals, but it’s also a big step for the Czech’s search for the elusive World No.1 ranking.