Naomi Osaka defeated No.13 seed Angelique Kerber after dominating in a one-sided match 6-2, 6-3 to advance the former world number one to the third round of the Miami Open, from which Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep dropped out on Thursday.
Four-time Grand Slam champions Osaka got off to a strong start, breaking early to lead 2-0 and undeterred to seal the first set in 29 minutes, taking 91% of her first serve points.
The Japanese player deprived her rival Kerber of any chance to resist and come back into the match and completely dominated to win in about an hour at the decisive third point.
It was Osaka’s first win over Kerber since the 2017 US Open and prevented her opponent from winning a fifth straight matchup, in which Kerber now leads 4-2.
It is also Osaka’s first win over a top-20 player in the world since last year’s Miami Open.
“She’s the highest ranked I’ve beaten this year,” Osaka said in an on-court interview.
In the next round, Osaka, who came to Miami after being eliminated in the second round in Indian Wells after crying in the face of boos, will play Czech Karolina Mokhova, who defeated US Open runner-up Lilla Fernández, 6-4, 7 -. 6.
Spain’s Muguruza, who was supposed to face qualifier Lauren Davies, withdrew in the second round with a shoulder injury and said she hoped to prepare for next month’s clay-court tournament in Madrid.
Earlier in the day, 21st seed Halep withdrew from the second round match against Australian wild card Daria Savile due to a leg injury.
Former world number one and two-time Grand Slam champion Halep said she would be out of action in three weeks.