Few would have predicted (including me!) that Agnieszka Radwanska would come out on top in Miami at the start of the week having seen the fantastic line-up of players, but she rose to the occasion producing another immensely solid display to defeat Maria Sharapova in the final, 7-5 6-4. The most surprising statistic was that Radwanska was not broken throughout the entirety of the match as she saved the three break points faced against her. Sharapova has now lost four finals in Miami and all three finals that she has faced in 2012. She made too many errors yesterday, particularly at crucial stages of the match and did not attack the Radwanska second serve, which is an obvious weakness in the Pole’s game.
So how did Miami fare up to expectations? On the whole, it lived up to its big billing. Venus Williams and Alisa Kleybanova both made successful comebacks to the tour; Kleybanova had a stunning win in her first match against Johanna Larsson, meanwhile Venus played some great tennis to reach the quarter-finals as she beat Petra Kvitova in the second round and Ana Ivanovic in the 4th round. The quarter-finals were all disappointingly one-sided, but we saw some great matches throughout the week…
The best match I watched was the 4th round clash between Victoria Azarenka and Dominika Cibulkova. The Slovakian was playing some inspired tennis in the first hour of the match as she crunched returns past a seemingly clueless Azarenka. Cibulkova couldn’t sustain her form as she let her nerves get the better of her, but this match had everything including lots of drama that had me glued to the screen!
Wozniacki‘s first ever win over Serena was both surprising and unexpected. Although Serena was well below her par, this was a big win for the Dane and could give her the confidence boost she needs to turn around what has been a largely disappointing 2012 so far.
I particularly enjoyed the semi-final between Wozniacki and Sharapova, which peaked in the competitive final set where Wozniacki came alive towards the end displaying some impressively attacking and forceful play. However it was too little, too late for Wozniacki as Sharapova eventually wrapped up the match on a controversial last point, which saw the former world number one stupidly refuse to shake Kader Nouni’s hand.
Another dramatic and exciting match was the third round encounter between Aleksandra Wozniak and Venus Williams. Be under no illusion that this was a pretty match, but it was definitely pure entertainment as Wozniak failed to convert her chances on what would have been one of the biggest wins of her career against Venus Williams. It was torture at times to watch, but still insanely gripping!