No.5 seed Jessica Pegula moved another step closer to her third consecutive Miami Open semifinal with a 7-5, 6-4 third-round victory over No.31 Leylah Fernandez of Canada on Sunday.

In their first career meeting, Pegula came back from a late break down in the opening set en route to a 1-hour and 41-minute win over Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up.

"Leylah’s a tough out," Pegula said, after her win. "She seems to play even better when she plays against higher-ranked people, and she didn’t make it easy. I’m glad I had to tough my way through that match, and hopefully use that as some confidence going forward."

Miami Open expertise: Pegula boasts a 12-3 win-loss record at the Miami Open during the 2020s. She has yet to lose before the Round of 16 since a first-round defeat in her 2019 main-draw debut.

In her Miami Open semifinal runs from the past two years, Pegula has only been halted by the reigning Indian Wells champions. In 2022, she lost to Iga Swiatek, who completed that year's Sunshine Double. Last year, Pegula fell to Elena Rybakina, who was a win away from her own Sunshine Double before losing to Petra Kvitova in the Miami final.

Match moments: On Sunday, Fernandez earned the first break of the match to lead 5-3 and serve for the first set. However, Pegula reeled off the next four games to steal the one-set lead, closing out the opening frame with a backhand winner down the line.

Five of the first seven games in the second set went against serve, but Pegula stopped that trend with a hold for 5-3, saving a break point in the process before closing the game with a backhand putaway. Two games later, Pegula stormed through a love hold to triumph.

The victory marks Pegula's 50th match-win at WTA 1000 hard-court events. She is the fifth American to achieve 50 WTA 1000 match-wins on hard court since the WTA 1000 tier started in 2009. The others are Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

Next up: In the Round of 16, Pegula will face her fellow American, No.20 seed Emma Navarro, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. The 22-year-old Navarro continued the winningest season of her career by taking down No.12 seed Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 on Sunday.

Highlights: Navarro def. Paolini

Navarro prevailed in 1 hour and 51 minutes to oust Paolini, one of this season's other breakthrough players. Paolini is the only player other than World No.1 Iga Swiatek to win a WTA 1000 title this year, having claimed the Dubai trophy in February.

But Sunday was Navarro's day on her home soil, as she notched her 20th match-win of the season. Only top-ranked Swiatek has more match-wins in 2024 than Navarro, who won her first WTA title in Hobart in January and made her Top 20 debut after Indian Wells.

"I know when that happens, that feeling of winning a lot of matches, it’s really tough to beat people like that," Pegula said, looking ahead to her meeting with Navarro. "And even if you do beat them, it’s not easy, right?

"I think in a way, considering I haven’t won as many matches as I would have liked to at this point in the year, that it will be a really good test for me to see where I’m at, considering she’s one of the hottest players on tour right now."