Osaka-Swiatek in Miami women’s final; Ruud, Alcaraz advance

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Naomi Osaka is taking part in her first last in additional than a yr on Saturday, which actually appears like a comeback story.

She doesn’t see it that method.

The unseeded Osaka will meet second-seeded Iga Swiatek within the Miami Open girls’s last. It’s a matchup pitting the world’s former No. 1-ranked participant towards the lady who will exchange the now-retired Ash Barty atop the ladies’s rankings on Monday.

“A lot of people have been telling me, ‘You’re back’ and stuff like that,” Osaka informed reporters after qualifying for the ultimate. “But to be honest, I don’t feel like I left, if that makes sense. I have always been this player. I just didn’t play the matches.”

Osaka was No. 1 on the earth earlier than Barty took over in 2019; Osaka began this match ranked No. 77 on the earth largely as a result of she merely hasn’t performed as a lot whereas engaged on her psychological well being.

Barty held that No. 1 spot since, then determined to retire final week and requested to be faraway from the rankings in a transfer that opened the door for Swiatek to ascend to the highest spot.

The final time Swiatek misplaced a match was in February, when she was ranked No. 9 on the earth. She is 16-0 since and getting ready to finishing the Sunshine Double — championships at each Indian Wells and Miami.

“I am excited for sure,” Swiatek stated. “But on the other hand, for me, the most important job is this is a match like any other. I don’t want to change my routines, I don’t want to change my attitude, because it’s been working out pretty well. I’m going to treat it like any other match.”

The males’s last is Sunday. No. 6 seed Casper Ruud earned the primary spot within the title match by defeating Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-1 in Friday’s semifinals.

“It was a tough match, even though the scoreline said two straight sets,” stated Ruud, who might be taking part in in a Masters 1000-level last for the primary time. “It was tough.”

Ruud will face No. 14 Carlos Alcaraz within the males’s title match. Alcaraz defeated No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz — the defending Miami champion — 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) on Friday evening within the final semifinal.

Alcaraz, who’s a month away from turning 19, is the second-youngest Miami Open finalist ever. Rafael Nadal was a few month youthful than Alcaraz is now when he made the Miami last; the match was referred to as the NASDAQ-100 Open then and was performed at Key Biscayne. Nadal misplaced a five-setter within the last that yr to Roger Federer.

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