No.9 seed Danielle Collins booked her place in her second Miami Open quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of No.8 seed Ons Jabeur in only 66 minutes.
The American had been forced to retire from Dubai and withdraw from Indian Wells due to a viral illness that caused her nagging neck pain, but has found her groove again at a tournament where she has excelled in the past. On her Miami debut in 2018, Collins reached her first WTA semifinal as a qualifier ranked No.93 playing her fifth tour-level main draw.
Collins had lost to Jabeur on home soil in their last meeting, in the Indian Wells third round last year. But she had previously beaten the Tunisian at Roland Garros 2020, and broke her four times here to take a 2-1 head-to-head advantage.
For Jabeur, the result is a second straight fourth-round loss in Miami, having fallen to Sara Sorribes Tormo at this stage last year.
Keys to the match: Collins delivered a formidable serving performance, conceding only 13 points behind her delivery in total. The Australian Open finalist was only broken once, at the start of the second set - a game in which Jabeur had to come up with three consecutive low-percentage winners to capture.
In any case, Collins' return game was also on song. Three clean return winners gained her the break back immediately, and the consistent depth and pace she found on that shot piled the pressure on Jabeur.
Jabeur had few answers. She managed to keep the second set close due to a strong first serve, behind which she won 77% of the points - but landing only 54% of those deliveries prevented her from gaining any momentum with it. Nor did Jabeur's usual box of magic tricks come to her rescue. She found only one winning dropshot, and a mid-rally through-the-legs hot shot couldn't stop Collins taking that point anyway.
Serving to stay in the match, Collins amped up her returns, drawing three netted backhands from Jabeur as a result.
In Collins' words: "I feel like we come out here and either one of us could win on any given day," she said afterward. "She beat me in practice a few days ago, and beat me in Indian Wells. We've had some great times on court, so I was just trying to be competitive against my friend.
"I've had some of my best results after coming back from injuries or having a little bit of time off at the end of the year. I try to tell myself that when I feel a little off or rusty."
Saville saves match point, makes first WTA 1000 quarterfinal since 2017
Wildcard Daria Saville overcame lucky loser Lucia Bronzetti 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in 2 hours and 59 minutes to reach her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal since Rome 2017. The No.249-ranked Australian becomes the lowest-ranked player to reach the last eight in Miami ever, and the fourth wildcard following Justine Henin in 2010, Venus Williams in 2012 and Victoria Azarenka in 2018.
In a bruising encounter featuring plenty of punishing rallies, Saville started quicker, taking a 3-0 double-break lead. But Bronzetti gradually pegged her back, and took advantage of a flurry of Saville errors when trying to serve out the set to snatch the opening act.
Highlights: Saville d. Bronzetti
The Italian upped her aggression to seize momentum in the third set, flashing a series of superb forehands and advancing to a 5-3 lead. But on key points trying to close out the set she backed off from putative putaways, allowing Saville's doughty defense to cling on to the match.
Saville also served superbly down the home stretch. The former World No.20 saved a match point trailing 5-4 with a service winner, and converted her own first match point with a solid one-two punch. The result was the 22nd WTA main draw match this season won from match point down.
No.102-ranked Bronzetti, who fell to Wang Qiang in the final round of qualifying and had saved a match point herself against Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round, is assured of making her Top 100 debut next week.