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Alexandrova's Miami magic continues with Pegula upset

AP PHOTO

Ekaterina Alexandrova has backed up her win over world No.1 Iga Swiatek with a 3-6 6-4 6-4 upset of fifth-seed Jessica Pegula to reach the Miami Open semi-finals for the first time.

Alexandrova let out a triumphant roar when Pegula's forehand landed in the net to end the two-hour contest in humid conditions in South Florida on Wednesday.

"This one was incredible," Alexandrova said.

"It was so difficult to play this match to the end and win. It's the biggest achievement for me on this court and semi-final is a great bonus."

After getting off to a slow start, Alexandrova found her rhythm from the baseline in the second set and finished the match with 40 winners.

The 14th seed from Russia will next face American Danielle Collins, who kept her hopes of winning a title in her farewell season alive by beating French 23rd seed Caroline Garcia 6-3 6-2 earlier in the day.

"I think it's going to be difficult," Alexandrova said of facing Collins for the first time.

"There's no easy match here and the further you go, the tougher the matches. I'm hoping it will be a good one."

Collins, who announced in January she will retire from professional tennis at the end of this season, won 90 per cent of her first serve points against Garcia. She never faced a break point and converted three of her eight break-point chances.

The victory, sealed in a tidy 80 minutes, marked the first time Collins has won five consecutive matches on the WTA Tour since the 2022 Australian Open where she reached her first grand slam final.

"She has had an incredible run and incredible couple of months," Collins said of Alexandrova.

"It's been great to see how her game has evolved over the years, and the way that she's been playing has been really exciting."