Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs.  Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
Mattek-Sands had a string of first and second round losses in singles for most of 2016. The last time she made a singles final was in 2013 and despite her success in doubles; she has never won a singles title. If she won today, it would be her first time to the round of sixteen in singles in Miami. Mattek-Sands threw everything she had in her arsenal, a lot of which came from her experience in doubles, at her opponents. Her style of play confused them and gave her the advantage she needed to beat her first seeded opponent (Elina Svitolina) in the previous round.
Just when it seemed that Pavlyuchenkova had control of the match, Mattek-Sands flipped the switch in the second set. She played smart tennis. She knew her strengths and used them to negate her weaknesses and she was more effective in the second set, so much so she won it 6-0. The third set was a bit more challenging. Her opponent was not going to go away without a fight and started hitting the balls harder. Added to this was the reality that she was a few games away from making her first round of sixteen in Miami. It was no surprise she got nervous and could not serve it out the first time around. Yet, she showed her resilience and her determination to not let this opportunity slip away.
Mattek-Sands remembered that she is the number one ranked doubles player and that she has served for many victories in doubles before; thus, she relied on that knowledge, fought through the nerves and served it out the second time around to get the 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory. It has been an amazing effort from her.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: SHDR