Linda Fruhvirtova WTA Miami Open 2022

‘I’m having the time of my life!’ – Teenage WTA star ecstatic to be in last 16

Miami has a ‘Sweet 16’ feeling right now as 16-year-old wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova moved past three-time champion Victoria Azarenka into the last 16 of the WTA 1000 event.ย 

The Czech teenager was 6-3, 3-0 up over world number 16 when the 32-year-old retired from the match with seemingly no explanation, handing Fruhvirtova a place in the fourth round.

The win makes Fruhvirtova the youngest WTA singles third round match-winner since Tatiana Golovin at the 2004 event.

“It feels unbelievable, I don’t even know what to say, I’m lost for words,” she said after the victory.

“Of course, I didn’t want it to end this way, so whatever it is I wish Vika (Azarenka) a speedy recovery.

“But I’m having the time of my life here this week and I’m going to remember this forever.”

Fruhvitova previously beat Danka Kovinic in her opening match before seeing off 20th seed Elise Mertens in three sets to set her meeting with Azarenka.

Prior to Miami, the Czech had just three WTA tour level wins to her name from Charleston and Cleveland last year.

Now, having entered the Florida tournament raked 279th in the world, Fruhvirtova is projected to rise 93 spots in the WTA rankings to world number 186.

Should she win her next match the teen would break the top 150 and could sit as high as 143rd.

That will be a tall order though as next she faces world number six Paula Badosa for a place in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard overcame Yulia Putintseva in her third round match.

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