Day 2 of the Miami Open main draw was a packed line-up with a total of 20 matches on the schedule. This Set Points is everything that happened up until I went to bed! Starting the day was another three set tussle between Jelena Jankovic and Yaroslava Shvedova. Four of the pair’s five previous matches had gone the distance and this was a rare win for Shvedova, not only in the head-to-head but in 2017, as the 29-year-old saved a match point to halt a seven match losing streak to win, 4-6 6-4 7-6(3).
The third set ended with a nervy tiebreak as Jankovic collapsed on serve with three double faults. It was a far cry from most of the third set where Jankovic, who had her brother back in her corner, was actually serving quite well. Shvedova had shown some moments of magic interspersed with shaky groundstrokes long and wide, but she battled bravely to stay in contention and got a helping hand from Jankovic too. Both were nervous in the final set tiebreak but Shvedova backed herself at 5-3 up with a backhand winner down-the-line to end a tense rally.
This is Jankovic’s second loss in a row from match point up and nerves serving out matches are becoming a real problem for the Serb. Shvedova moves on to play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round.
In the most intriguing match from the slate of first rounders, Ashleigh Barty hung on for a three set victory over Eugenie Bouchard, 6-4 5-7 6-3. Barty was serving at just 35% first serves in in the first set but was getting the job done on the second serve. Peak Bouchard made a few appearances in the second set including in a pivotal game at 5-5 where she saved three break points to hold before sealing the set on a crushing return winner.
The third set was dominated by a trio of breaks in the middle of the set – Barty secured the important hold to 5-3 as she staved off two break points, found a big first serve that Hawkeye showed had barely caught the line and then got a slice of luck as Bouchard netted on what was a glaring missed opportunity.
Bouchard competed well for the most part but played a shocker of a final game with two double faults. This was an improvement from the Canadian player but the end of the third set still showed a lack of match fitness. Not the best performance from Barty but there were some fabulous forehands in there and all the more impressive that she managed to get the win.
Next up for Barty in the second round… Sam Stosur!
This time last year, Yania Wickmayer comfortably defeated Lucie Safarova in Miami, 6-2 6-3. One year on and the tables turned with Safarova recording her second win of the year over Wickmayer, 7-6(2) 6-4.
Safarova fought back from 3-5 down and a dodgy spell in the middle of the first set. The Czech player found two decent returns at 30-30 when Wickmayer was serving for the match and then had a confident hold of serve to get back on level terms. Into a tiebreak and Safarova was very secure. There was a time when I used to hide behind a pillow when Lucie played tiebreaks but she did well here!
Safarova let slip a 4-1 lead in the second set but held confidently at 4-4 and broke for the win. Wickmayer saved one match point with a crashing winner down-the-line, but Safarova sealed the victory on her second match point.
Lucie plays Daria Gavrilova in the second round. I saw them play live at the US Open… oh the memories! I think it is generally a good match-up for an in-form Lucie, but Dasha will likely have more of a chance on these slow courts.
Christina McHale defeated Annika Beck in a WILD match, 6-7(2) 7-5 6-0 in exactly three hours of play. McHale three times failed to serve out the first set and missed four set points. Beck was up a set and a break but McHale rallied and ended up winning the last eight games of the match, dropping just six (!) points in the decider.
In other matches…
Jana Cepelova continued her good form from qualifying, sealing a first ever win over Andrea Petkovic, 6-2 6-4. Petkovic reeled off three games in a row from 1-4 down in the second set but played a shaky final game, miscuing a groundstroke wide down match point.
Madison Brengle won her first ever match against Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3 3-6 6-2. An adidas-clad, Ostapenko had won their two previous encounters, both in 2017, in straight sets.
Veronica Cepede Royg enjoyed just a fourth top 50 win, beating Misaki Doi, 6-2 6-4. Doi has won just one of her last five matches.
Patricia Maria Tig won her first WTA main draw since September, beating Heather Watson in one tight and one straightforward set, 7-6(4) 6-1.
In the result that really took me by surprise, Bethanie Mattek-Sands also won her first WTA main draw match of 2017, beating Katerina Siniakova, 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Kirsten Flipkens was highlighted in my point of the tournament from Indian Wells and she staked her claim in Miami on day 1!
Thanks again to Jake S. for a guest post from Tuesday at the Miami Open. This post includes recaps of Arruabarrena vs Vikhylantseva, Cepelova vs Potapova, Osaka vs Kucova and Errani vs Bencic. Well worth a read!
After pulling out of Miami with the worrying wrist injury that forced her to retire hurt against Karolina Pliskova at Indian Wells, Timea Bacsinszky posted an update on Instagram on Tuesday. She’s back in physical training with a support on her wrist, but said she is preparing for Fed Cup which is in four weeks time, She was also excited about moving onto clay!
And finally, some positive news about Petra on Monday and an update on her Instagram page.
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Hi guys! I wanted to say hello since time is flying by – three whole months already since the attack – and let you know that I'm working really hard on my recovery. I still can't tell you when I will be back, but I can tell you that tennis is a huge motivation for me and I realised while I've been away how much I like challenges! My perspective on life has changed a lot and I am doing everything to give myself a second chance to be back on the court. I thank you for staying with me through this and I hope to see you all soon, love Petra