The German Maria eliminates Stephens and leaves Miami without the defending champion

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The German Maria eliminates Stephens and leaves Miami without the defending champion In the image, the Belgian tennis player Elise Mertens. EFE / Archive

Miami (USA), .- The elimination of the big stars of women’s tennis that arrived at the Miami Open as favorites continued for the second consecutive day after this Sunday were eliminated four others, including the American Sloane Stephens, fourth seed and defending champion of the most important of the Masters 1000.

The executioner of Stephens was the German Tatjana Maria, of 31 years, number 69 of the world, who in just one hour and 33 minutes prevailed by 6-3 and 6-2 to the American, with whom she faced for the third time, after of losing the previous two.

But at Miami Gardens Hard Rock Stadium, and despite the fact that Stephens received the full support of local fans, Maria was superior in every aspect of the game, especially with the effectiveness of the first service, achieving 70 percent, compared to 46 for the champion.

Now Maria’s rival, who achieved one of the most important victories of her career, will be the Czech Marketa Vondrousova, 68 of the world, who won by 6-4 and 7-6 (1) to the Belgian Elise Mertens, sixteenth head of series, in what was the third elimination of a favorite in the Sunday session of the tournament, which this year is played at the new headquarters of Hard Rock Miami Gardens.

His best rest and game from the bottom of the track was what made the difference in favor of Vondrousova, number 68 in the world, who won the second duel he had against Mertens as a professional after losing the first, in Lugano, the year past.

The Kazakh Yulia Putintseva gave the first of the surprises in the day to win by 1-6, 6-2 and 6-3 to the Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, eleventh seed.

While the Chinese Yafan Wang won by 7-5 and 6-1 to the American Danielle Collins, twenty-fifth seed, which was also eliminated.

Wang will have rival Qiang Wang in eighth, eighteenth favorite, who went to eighth after the American Serena Williams, tenth favorite, announced this Saturday his retirement due to the injury suffered in the left knee and according to the official statement did not allow him to be able to compete.

The rest of the day also left the triumphs of two of the favorites to the title as are the Romanian Simona Halep, second seed, and the Czech Karolina Pliskova, fifth.

Halep won the Slovenian veteran Polona Hercog (lucky loser) by 5-7, 7-6 (1) and 6-2, which allowed her to reach the round of 16.
The triumph of Halep prevented that another surprise elimination of the favorites to the title occurred after the defeat this Saturday of the number one, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, and the retirement of Serena.

Halep did not have it easy and also was on the verge of elimination after losing the first heat and taking the second to the tiebreaker that dominated to change his luck with a complete dominance in the third and decisive, which ended a tough fight of two hours and 49 minutes.

The 27-year-old Romanian tennis player, number three in the world, who achieved her best result at the Miami Open as a semifinalist in 2015, a match she lost to Serena, now in the second round she will again have one of the Williams sisters as rival , Venus, who prevailed by 6-3 and 6-1 to the Russian Daria Kasatkina, fourteenth seed.

The duel between Halep and Venus Williams, 38, number 38 in the world, will be the seventh, tied 3-3 in the previous six, but the ex-number one in the world, has won the last three, including the two achieved in the last season (Australian Open and Masters 1000 of Canada).

The oldest of the Williams will fight to get her fourth title at the Miami Open.

While Pliskova also had to play three rounds and overcome the loss of the first to win by 6-7 (3), 6-1 and 6-4 against the French Alizé Cornet.

The ex-number one of the world, will have rival in the round of 16 to Putintseva, said she was happy for the way she finally managed to get the victory and overcome the problem that was presented with the excess of wind that was on the track. (EFE)

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