Tennis: Suitek defeats Osaka in Miami final, completes ‘Sunshine Double’

Iga Suatek of Poland reacts during her semifinal match against US REUTERS / Loren Elliott's Daniel Collins

Iga Suatech of Poland (REUTERS / file photo)

With a 6-4, 6-0 win over Naomi Osaka of Japan in the final of the Miami Open on Saturday, Poland’s Iga Suatek will occupy the number one ranking in the world, keeping her outstanding run intact.

The Polish second seed, who will occupy the world number one position next week, has not dropped a single set in Miami and has now won 17 matches in a row since his championship run at the Qatar Open in February.

With the win, the 20-year-old Sweattech became only the fourth woman to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments in a row, known as the “Sunshine Double” due to their respective tournament positions in California and Florida.

“These weeks have been so intense that I didn’t really know if I would be able to hold my streak,” said Swiatek, who became the first woman to win the first three WTA 1000 tournaments.

“It simply came to our notice then.

“This season I think everything has been clicked so it’s great and I’m really happy.”

The two players did not waste time in the heat of battle as the match began with a wild Seven-Davis opening game, in which four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka saved two break points and dropped four aces to hold the serve.

The match was in the survey until Sweettech broke Osaka when he led a great crosscourt backhand winner 3-2 and then closed the first set without facing a break point despite serving below 40%.

The former French Open champion raised his level to second where he broke Osaka three times to take a 5-0 lead and never looked back as he sealed the 79-minute match at his first championship point when Osaka sent a forehand wide.

Sweettech became the first woman since Victoria Azarenka to complete the “Sunshine Double” in 2016. Kim Clusters (2005) and Steffi Graf (1994, 1996) are other women who have accomplished this feat.

Osaka arrived in Florida after a second-round loss to Indian Wells, where he broke down in tears after being hacked during a match, but he proved resilient as he dropped just one set on his way to the Miami final.

In the final, Osaka did well to hold the serve in a complex 10-minute game to start the match and he kept his head high even when he couldn’t do much against a determined Swatech.

“I haven’t been in this position for a while,” said Osaka, 24, who took a break from the game last year to prioritize his mental health.

“I know this is not the result you wanted but I’m having a lot of fun here so I hope I can continue to work hard and have more opportunities to be in this situation again.”

Swiatek will occupy the top spot from Ash Bertie, who shocked the sports world last month by announcing his retirement from tennis at the age of 25.


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