Swiatek Battles Through Tough Noskova Battle To Narrowly Triumph At Miami Open

Swiatek Battles Through Tough Noskova Battle To Narrowly Triumph At Miami Open

by Jordan Reynolds

Iga Swiatek managed to avoid another upset against Linda Noskova but only after being given a scare by the Czech player.

The world No. 1 entered this contest looking to built on the momentum from her opening match in Miami. Swiatek easily defeated Camila Giorgi in ruthless fashion to start the tournament perfectly.

This opening win in Miami followed her run to the title in Indian Wells at her previous event. Such outstanding achievements from the four-time Grand Slam champion at the age of 22 means it is unsurprising that Swiatek feels she has nothing to prove.

One of Swiatek's wins in Indian Wells was against Noskova in straight sets. However, Noskova infamously shocked the Pole at this year's Australian Open, meaning an upset was not impossible.

It seemed like the match could be a repeat of Swiatek's easy win in Indian Wells when she broke Noskova in her opening service game. But the 19 year old then immediately responded by breaking break in the next game.

Swiatek broke again in the sixth game with some impressive baseline hitting and led 5-2 after a hold of serve. However, Noskova suddenly hit a purple patch for three games, winning three in a row after some devastating power from her racket.

A tiebreak was needed to decide the set and Noskova took it in dramatic style. After saving a set point at 6-5, she held her nerve better to edge it 9-7. A shock reminiscent of the Australian Open looked possible at that stage.

Swiatek responded very impressively in the second set. Noskova's intensity dropped somewhat and the three-time French Open champion took full advantage with some penetrating groundstrokes to give her a 5-1 lead.

Once again, Swiatek had issues finishing the set. She lost her serve at 5-2 and Noskova got the score back to 5-4. But the double break Swiatek had proved crucial and she closed it out at the second time of asking to force a decider.

The world No. 1 was also the better player throughout the deciding set. After Noskova did well to save a break point in her opening service game, the pressure eventually told and she was broken in the fifth game.

Swiatek had been in no trouble on her serve during the third set as she served for the match at 5-4. Yet, it seemed like she was about to drop serve when trying to close out the set for the third time in a row when she found herself 0-40 down.

However, Swiatek kept her composure superbly. She dug herself out of trouble by playing five very good points in a row to seal a 6-7 6-4 6-4 triumph. Noskova deserves huge credit for coming close to upsetting Swiatek again but the Pole showed her champion's mentality when she needed too.


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