World No.2 Iga Swiatek extended her career-best winning streak to 13 matches on Sunday night after defeating Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-3 to advance to her first Round of 16 at the Miami Open. The victory sets up a marquee Round of 16 showdown with American phenom Coco Gauff on Monday.
Playing her first match since confirming her rise to the No.1 ranking after Miami, Swiatek continued the sharp form that has seen her sweep the first two WTA 1000s of the season. Coming off her win in Indian Wells last week, Swiatek is trying to become the fourth woman to win the "Sunshine Double." If Swiatek were to win Indian Wells and Miami in the same season, she would join a list that includes Stefanie Graf (1994, 1996), Kim Clijsters (2005) and Victoria Azarenka (2016).
Swiatek raced through the opening set in 25 minutes. Having won the last seven games against Viktorija Golubic in the previous round, the 20-year-old Pole extended her winning streak of games to 14 before Brengle finally broke the run in the second game of the second set.
Swiatek fired 12 winners to Brengle's one in the opening set and finished the match with 25 winners to four for the American. Swiatek was broken once in the match, but dominated on her return, generating a total of 10 break points and breaking in five of seven return games.
"I feel like I'm in a good place with my tennis and I'm focusing on that," Swiatek said when asked about the No.1 ranking. "I know the ranking can be pressure, but on the other hand when I was climbing up and I entered Top 10 and Top 5 I felt the same feeling, and right now I don't want to repeat that. So I just focus on my game.
"I don't know what's going to happen after the tournament and the adrenaline will go down and I have more time to stress about that a little bit more, but for now I feel great. It's not like it's bothering me, it's more motivating me. So it's great."
Swiatek will face Gauff for the second time in their careers and the first time on a hard court. Their only previous meeting came in Rome last spring. Swiatek won 7-6, 6-3 in the semifinals and would go on to win her first WTA 1000 title.
Kvitova returns to the Round of 16
Also on Sunday evening, No.28 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic moved into the Miami Open Round of 16 for the fifth time in her career with a 7-5, 6-1 win over American qualifier Lauren Davis.
Kvitova improved to 2-0 against Davis, notching her second straight-set win over the World No.94. With the 1-hour and 22-minute victory, the former World No.2 Kvitova has won back-to-back matches for only the second time this season.
Kvitova dropped her serve three times in the first set, but she gritted out a break in the final game of the opener, then eased through the second set to capture victory. Kvitova won nearly three-quarters of Davis’s second-service points in the clash.
Highlights: Kvitova def. Davis
Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is now a win away from matching her career-best Miami Open showings, which were quarterfinal runs in 2014 and 2019.
Kvitova will face No.21 seed Veronika Kudermetova in the Round of 16 on Monday. Kvitova has won their two previous meetings, which both came last year, on the clay courts of Madrid and the hard courts of Cincinnati.