Since so many of the matches are going to be late in Miami and past my bedtime, I thought i’d go for an early Set Points to cover the first half of the day. Continuing on from Thursday’s line-up, there were four matches that were not completed due to the rain. The first of those to finish saw another rain delay at the most crucial of stages. The rain came with Ajla Tomljanovic up match point on the Indian Wells champion, Elena Vesnina. In what was already a wild match, Tomljanovic needed just the one point on the resumption to secure a huggge win, 3-6 6-4 7-5.
Following on the line of wild and wacky play, the resumption of Garbiñe Muguruza v Christina McHale was as dramatic as they come. Muguruza recovered from a bagel first set on Thursday night and saved a match point on Friday before battling her way to a 0-6 7-6(6) 6-4 victory. The quality was poor in admittedly tough, windy conditions, but this was one of those matches I just couldn’t keep my eyes off.
After the second set, Sam Sumyk refused to come down on the changeover. On the next one, he did come down and it became apparent why he hadn’t previously, having heard Muguruza tell him to “shut the f*** up”. The Spaniard apologised in what was an intense changeover. Muguruza was in tears, not only at this changeover, but at the next one and at the end. Her play did generally improve towards the end of the match so talking it through was kind of positive.
Props to Muguruza for winning ugly. It was as emotional and intense as it gets. She didn’t play well but I really have to commend her for gutting out the win, a match that I think she would have lost in two easy sets last year. One thing for sure, Muguruza’s matches have been an entertaining watch this year as you really don’t know what you’re going to get!
McHale’s had a rough few weeks having won just one game in a limp loss to Evgeniya Rodina in Indian Wells and today, twice failing to serve out the match and missing a match point in the tiebreak. It was nervy but the conditions looked pretty abysmal for tennis!
Simona Halep scored an invaluable win, just her fourth of 2016, edging Naomi Osaka, 6-4 2-6 6-3. Halep dropped just three (!) points behind her serve in the first set – after a brief rain delay, she was then broken to love 😂. Osaka forced a decider which, like Muguruza-McHale, wasn’t a pretty watch because of the wind.
The key game of the decider was at 3-3 where Osaka was unable to consolidate a break back and with some errors and negative body language, let Halep back in. Another rain delay ensued and on the resumption, Halep double faulted on the first point. However, she won the final two games, playing with more intent than previously. There was a big smile from Simona at the end!
Madison Keys looked good. Really good. 6-1 6-2 over Viktorija Golubic in 67 minutes.
In other matches:
Taylor Townsend scored her biggest win since 2014 (d. Cornet at the French Open) with a surprisingly routine victory over the number 25 seed, Roberta Vinci, 6-3 6-2.
Svetlana Kuznetsova won 12 of the last 14 games to defeat Mandy Minella, 6-2 6-2. A good, drama-free start for Sveta!
Pauline Parmentier won the last eight games to knock out the number 24 seed, Timea Babos, 6-7(1) 6-2 6-0. Parmentier has won at least two matches at her last three tournaments.
Barbora Strycova and Sorana Cirstea rounded out second round action from the bottom half of the draw with three set wins over Johanna Larsson and Anastasija Sevastova respectively.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s order of play, the most intriguing match of the day (aside from Lucie-Ajla for me!) will see Agnieszka Radwanska face off against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni again. MLB won their most recent match at the Australian Open, 6-3 6-2. Who you got?
An update on the WTA streaming saga and it’s not good news (see below). I’m perplexed, angry, sad, all the emotions. It’s a dreadful situation for women’s tennis. I think the WTA has been appalling this year. Their Twitter account has been littered with errors – i’m the first to admit that I make mistakes but it seems that every other tweet these days has an error in it. I’m not enjoying my current set-up of watching matches and this news just bums me out 😢😢😢. I’m determined to keep going but I am really struggling right now.
And finally, ending on a positive, big thanks to Jake S. for two guest posts from the first two days in Miami. If anyone is attending a tournament this year and would like to write about their experiences for the blog then please let me know! You can catch up with all previous guest posts from readers HERE. I’ll be doing some live posts from Eastbourne later this year… three months to go!