WTA / ATP: Garcia and Swiatek pass trilogy tests

The heat is on as the Sunshine Swing soars towards its conclusion at the Miami Open.

Caroline Garcia, third round, Miami 2024©Virginie Bouyer
 - Alex Sharp

At every turn the Miami Open is delivering.

The coastal metropolis in Florida, USA, is packed with storylines on both the men's and women's sides. Let's take a look at the latest…

WTA trilogy treats

2024 has witnessed two captivating duels revisited within the WTA ranks.

Having split their two matches this season, world No.27 Caroline Garcia and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka reunited on Sunday night.

The Frenchwoman prevailed in a high-quality bout, serving astutely to help pip Osaka 7-6(4), 7-5 to earn a Box Office Last 16 clash with Coco Gauff.

"I don't want to dwell on it too much. It was above all a good match. Lately I'm mentally stable, optimistic about my game, confident in what I'm doing and fully committed to it," Garcia told L'Equipe. "Today, it shows that when I am able to be in this state of mind, I am able to produce good tennis.

"We go 100 per cent in our style of play. And frankly, it's cool. In this kind of match, when it goes well, it's great. But if it doesn't work out, you have no regrets."

World No.1 Iga Swiatek and Czech prodigy Linda Noskova have a simmering rivalry too.

Swiatek dismissed the 19-year-old 6-4, 6-0 en route to the Indian Wells trophy earlier this month, gaining revenge for an Australian Open defeat in January.

The Polish star problem solved to escape 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-4 to book a fourth round versus No.14 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

"As you can see, it's not like we can take everything for granted," said Swiatek, with a tour-leading 22-2 record in 2024. "You can be in trouble at the early stages of the tournament. No sense to talk about 'Sunshine Double'.

"For sure I'm taking just experience from this match and I know what I have to focus on little bit more."

Medvedev on the march

Patience was personified as defending champion Daniil Medvedev accelerated clear from Brit Cameron Norrie.

Locked level at 5-5, it appeared the world No.4 was in for a frustrating evening, but collected eight of the last nine games to advance in style.

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner also had to bide his time. The No.2 seed lost the first set to the ultra-consistent Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, before gunning to a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 triumph.

Earlier on Sunday, Casper Ruud found his range in the pivotal moments, saving all seven break points to hurdle Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3, 6-4. In doing so, the two-time Roland-Garros finalist earned his 100th hard-court victory.

Over to the WTA ranks and Top 10 seeds such as Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari have all navigated into the Last 16 conversation.

Springing a surprise

However, there are a plethora of names causing a stir in South Florida.

Take world No.36 Anhelina Kalinina. The Ukrainian rallied from a set and 2-5 down to save match point over Caroline Wozniacki 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. Kalinina back that up with a thrilling 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 scoreboard to edge No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Resurgent Brit Katie Boulter dominated proceedings 6-2, 6-3 taking on No.11 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, whilst American Emma Navarro continues to post notable wins and is rewarded with a Last 16 tussle with her compatriot Pegula.

Dominik Koepfer is in the groove, having dismissed Top 20 seeds Sebastian Baez and Ugo Humbert. Could the German derail reigning champion Medvedev?

Italian Matteo Arnaldi ousted the reinvigorated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6(7) and he'll duel with Tomas Machac for an 'Elite 8' spot.

Machac endured a marathon three hour, twenty seven minute battle with Andy Murray. The Czech succumbed to the former world No.1's archetypal fighting spirit to let slip a 5-2 third set lead, as well as a match point at 6-5, prior to a turbulent decisive tie-break.

Machac hailed the "toughest match of my career," following his 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(5) epic.

“It's always a pleasure to share the court with such a great legend," said world No.60 Machac. "But at the end, there was everything... I pushed myself from the bottom to manage to win today.”

So many unheralded names, so many heroic performances.

What's on the Miami menu?

Alongside the likes of Swiatek and Gauff, top seed Carlos Alcaraz returns to the fold on Monday.

The Indian Wells champion meets another hot-shot expert in the shape of Gael Monfils. Clear the diary, these two will guarantee a show. Alcaraz won a 7-5, 6-1 encounter at Indian Wells 2022, but Monfils seems like a man on a mission. What magic can Gael sprinkle this time?

Powerhouse American Ben Shelton taking on new father Lorenzo Musetti also promises to be a 'must-watch' battle. The winner takes on Alcaraz or Monfils!

Boulter, chasing her maiden W1000 quarter-final, must find the answers facing former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka.

Rybakina and Sakkari could meet in the Last eight, but the Kazakh takes on the in-form Madison Keys (with the American up 2-1 in their head-to-head) and the eighth-seeded Greek must overcome Anna Kalinskaya.

A selection of favourites remain, a selection of fresh faces keep throwing their hit into the ring, Miami's home straight is going to be riveting viewing.

Miami 2024, atmosphere©Virginie Bouyer