The first round of WTA and ATP competition in Miami Open 2023 is completed. Even though we did not see seeded players at this stage of the competition, there were plenty of interesting matches and notable name. The women's competition was headline by the clash One between two US Open champions – Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu. The exciting match-up did not disappoint, as it was the good three-setter ended up after more than 2.5 hours. Andreescu won 6-3 3-6 6-2 and sets up another interesting clash against Maria Sakkari in second round.
Andreescu and Raducanu where not the only Grand Slam champions to start their Miami Open campaign in the opening round. Sofia Kenin advanced to the second round after 6-0 7-6(5) win against Storm Hunter. Kenin started flawlessly, giving away just 7 points in the opening set for her opponent. She was leading 3-1 in second set, but the Australian tried to fight back and forced a tie-break. She did not manage to move the match through distance tough and Kenin will face Anhelina Kalinina in R2. Another American GS champion - Sloane Stephens, has not started her Miami campaign so well. Stephens got eliminated by fellowcountry Shelby Rogers, who win with the score 6-4 3-6 6-2. The American will face a big challenge in second round, facing the world's number two - Aryna Sabalenka.
The most thrilling match of the opening round was played between Camila Giorgi and Kaia Kanepi. Those experienced players fought three intensive tie-break sets, ended up after 3:36 hours, making this the longest WTA match in 2023 so far. First two sets brought just 4 breaks in general. The decisive one was one-sided from the start, as Giorgi was leading 5-0 with double break, which did not foreshadow another tie-break. The Estonian come back tough, even despite the fact that Giorgi had 2 matchpoints on the road. The Italian did not waste another chance in tie-break, converting her fourth matchpoint and moving into second round. Giorgi will set up another interesting match against experienced opponent who will be Victoria Azarenka.
First round in ATP competition brought some surprises so far, with notable names being out of the tournament, eliminated on their first hurdles. Andy Murray got defeated by Dusan Lajovic despite being a clear pre-match favorite. The Scot who delivered some great spectacles in 2023 season and showed signs of coming back to good form, lost 4-6 5-7 in just about 100 minutes. Dominic Thiem is still to find his previous level, facing another early exit. This time, the challenge for the Austrian was really difficult, as he picked the match-up against Lorenzo Sonego in first round. The Italian won 7-6(7) 6-2. First set was settled in tight tie-break, where both players had setpoints. Second one was one-sided with Sonego moving into next round.
Another upset came from John Isner. The experienced American who managed to make it into final in Dallas previously in the season, got eliminated against wild card receiver - 21 years-old Emilio Nava. The younger of Americans turned out to be better in two tie-breaks 7-6(5) 7-6(4).
The most exciting match was played between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Zizou Bergs. The Australian was already out of the tournament, but got the lucky loser spot in the main draw. He was a confident pre-match favorite, but needed to come back from being a set down, losing first phase 4-6. After losing second set, Bergs was back into the front foot, leading 4-2 in decisive one. Kokkinakis came back again, forcing the decisive tie-break. The Belgian had three matchpoints there, including one within own serve. The Australian came back from this trouble, winning the whole match 4-6 6-3 7-6(7). He sets up the interesting clash against Hubert Hurkacz next.
Here are the ATP first round's highlights: