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Big names out as women's draw opens up in Miami

AP PHOTO

Iga Swiatek's hopes of landing another 'sunshine double' have ended in a 6-4 6-2 fourth-round loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova as the world No.1 joined third seed Coco Gauff in making an early exit from the Miami Open.

Swiatek, who won the first leg of the double at Indian Wells earlier this month, was completely outplayed by the Russian world No.16, who claimed the biggest win of her career.

"I just went out on the court and did my best. It went quite well," Alexandrova said.

Top seed Swiatek never broke Alexandrova's serve and had no answer to her opponent's powerful and precise groundstrokes under the lights in South Florida.

Alexandrova will next face fifth seed Jessica Pegula - who overcame fellow American Emma Navarro 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 - in the quarter-finals.

Caroline Garcia's serve was clicking early in her battle against Gauff and the Frenchwoman did not face a break point in the opening set before the American raised her game to level at a set apiece.

In the first game of the deciding set, Garcia fended off four break points to hold serve and broke to love to take a 2-0 lead she would not relinquish.

"I stayed positive and optimistic about my serve," Garcia said about the five break points she saved.

"The first game of the third set was quite important for me and maybe for her also.

"I got a little bit lucky because my forehand was catching the line but also I went for it, so maybe it's my reward."

Next up for Garcia is American Danielle Collins, who beat Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-2.

Fourth seed Elena Rybakina powered past Madison Keys 6-3 7-5 and will next meet a well-rested Maria Sakkari after the Greek eighth seed got a walkover.

Rybakina won more than 80 per cent of her first-serve opportunities and converted three of her eight break points during the 84-minute encounter.

"Really happy with my performance today," Kazakhstan's Rybakina said in her on-court interview.

"It was a tough one.

"With Madison it's always difficult matches and she's an aggressive player so I knew I needed to be ready for every point and especially on the return."

Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva beat Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina, the 32nd seed, 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Sakkari was scheduled to play in the day's opening match but advanced without hitting a ball as Russia's Anna Kalinskaya withdrew ahead of their fourth-round match due to health issues.

Kalinskaya, the 22nd seed, arrived in Miami following a third round defeat at Indian Wells where a stomach ailment forced her to miss a few days of practice.

The 25-year-old Kalinskaya reached the round of 16 in Miami without dropping a set in wins over China's Wang Xiyu and Latvian ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko.

"I'm so sorry I was really looking forward to playing today, but unfortunately my health doesn't allow me," Kalinskaya said.