MIAMI, FL, USA -- Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova continues her stellar month in the United States, moving into the quarterfinals of the Miami Open after a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Germany’s Tatjana Maria on Monday night.
"I’m very happy," Vondrousova told the press, following her victory. "It was a tough match and it was a late night, so I’m just very happy to be here."
19-year-old left-hander Vondrousova reached her second consecutive Premier Mandatory quarterfinal after her 87-minute victory, having reached the same stage at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier in March.
"I’m feeling myself, I’m feeling my game, I’m just very happy to be healthy, and to just be here [in the quarterfinals], it’s amazing," Vondrousova said, when asked about her superb run of form.
Powerful Vondrousova needed 22 winners to get past the speedy and creative Maria, and the young Czech kept her unforced error count low, with just 16 miscues, and converted five of her 10 break points throughout the encounter. Maria had 20 winners of her own, but her 25 unforced errors cost her at crucial moments.
"I just kept focusing on myself and playing my game, like, just run and fight," said Vondrousova.
"Maybe dropshots were the key, and I served good in the second set’s ending, so I think that was also the key," the young Czech added.
World No.59 Vondrousova, who beat seeded players Jelena Ostapenko and Elise Mertens earlier in the event, will take on her 5th-seeded compatriot Karolina Pliskova in the final eight, in their first meeting. Pliskova squeaked past Yulia Putintseva later on Monday night.
Early in the match, the defense from Maria was dogged and outstanding, but Vondrousova still was able to end up on top during most of the rallies. The Czech opened the match by breaking Maria at love, ending the game with a perfectly placed lob for a winner. Vondrousova then powered through to a service hold for 2-0, preparing the stage for a strong set.
Despite Maria’s propensity to extend rallies and slam forehands when she could, Vondrousova continued to hold the lead, blasting passes and overheads to hold for 4-2 and then taking advantage of errors from the German to break again for 5-2.
Maria charged back at the end of the set, claiming a break back and consolidating for 5-4, but Vondrousova would serve out the set at the second time of asking, holding at love to close out the opener. Vondrousova had ten winners to nine unforced errors in the set, while Maria’s five winners were overridden by her 12 miscues.
After an early exchange of breaks to open the second set, it was Vondrousova who pulled ahead midway through the set, coming back from 0-30 down to hold for 2-2, then taking the Maria serve with penetrating groundstrokes to lead 3-2.
As the set progressed, exceptional all-court rallies featured regularly, with the incredible defensive skills of Maria forcing Vondrousova into lobbing herself out of tough positions to keep points going. But Vondrousova stayed in front despite Maria’s best efforts, with Czech firing a forehand passing winner to hold for 5-3.
Finally, Maria stared down two match points while serving at 5-3. The German saved the first with a successful volley, but on the second, Vondrousova forced a netted error at the end of a long rally to get past Maria and move into another Premier Mandatory quarterfinal.