The matches from bottom half of WTA main draw's round two in Miami Open 2023 brought much more surprising results, than those, which we could witness yesterday. The day started with a big match-up against Bianca Andreescu and Maria Sakkari. The US Open 2019 champion defeated Emma Raducanu in first round to set up the quality clash against tournament's 7th seed. This match did not disappoint, as we could see the great three-sets battle, that lasted more than 3 hours. Andreescu performed her best win of the season so far, winning 7-5 3-6 6-4.
The opening set delivered some good emotions. Both players were holding their serves with confidence till 7th game, when Sakkari was first to gain the break. Andreescu responded the game later and all the following in this set were the intense and tight battle. Sakkari regained her advantage in 11th game and despite defending a breakpoint in 12th game, she secured the set with a score 7-5. Second set brought just one break. Andreescu took the lead in 4th game and secured it till the end. The 7th game was crucial, as the Canadian held for 5-2 after 6 deuces. 6-3 forced the decider.
Third set was a rollercoaster, as first 6 games delivered 5 breaks. Andreescu came on front foot from this, leading 4-2. The 7th game was crucial, as Andreescu secured her advantage with another great hold, defending 3 breakpoints in 7-deuces long game. The Canadian needed 3 matchpoints within own serve, but crossed the finish line eventually.
It was not a good day for top seeds in general. Ons Jabeur suffered a crushing defeat against Varvara Gracheva. The unseeded Russian needed just 67 minutes to eliminate the world's number 4 with a score 6-2 6-2 after one-sided match. The Tunisian is clearly struggling to find her form back in this season, while dealing with the injury issues since the Australian Open. Caroline Garcia is also out after the miserable loss to Sorana Cirstea. The Romanian defeated the tournament's seed #5 with a dominant win 6-2 6-3.
Other favorites, who were considered are being in better form before the tournament, did not disappoint. Barbora Krejcikova started her Miami campaign with a confident 6-3 6-2 win against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Belinda Bencic absolutely dominated Leylah Fernandez in one of the best match-ups of the day on paper. The Swiss gave away just two games for her opponent, winning 6-1 6-1. Petra Kvitova gave the harsh lesson for her much younger fellowcountry Linda Noskova in the Czech's battle of generation. The Grand Slam champion won 6-3 6-0 over the prospectful teenager.
Aryna Sabalenka stays ahead of the chance to make up some gap to Iga Swiatek in the rankings, utilizing the absence of the Pole, caused by an injury of ranking's leader. The world's number 2 faced Shelby Rogers in the interesting match-up on the Hard Rock Stadium, but fulfilled the role of clear pre-match favorite and won it 6-4 6-3.
Some big names came to action in the first day of seed's appearance in the ATP action on Friday. Taro Daniel made the huge sensation, beating Alexander Zverev 6-0 6-4. The German who was seemingly coming back to form after last year's injury, was absolutely nowhere near his good level, being dominated by the flawlessly playing Japanese. It is another great underdog performance from Daniel, as he also eliminated world's number three Casper Ruud from the tournament in Acapulco 3 weeks ago.
Carlos Alcaraz gave just no chance to Facundo Bagnis, winning 6-0 6-2 in his first Miami match. Taylor Fritz defeated the wild-card receiver Emilio Nava, also in the easy manner, 6-4 6-1. Andrey Rublev had one of the biggest challenge out of all unseeded players to face, as he played against J J Wolf. The American came short in straight sets tough, as Rublev plays further with a score 7-6(3) 6-4. Jannik Sinner is also through after easy 6-4 6-2 against Laslo Djere. Casper Ruud had no trouble against Ilya Ivashka, defeating the Belarusian 6-2 6-3, while Holger Rune routined Marton Fucsovics 6-3 7-5.
Here are the Friday's ATP highlights: