Bye bye Indian Wells, hello Miami! Wednesday welcomed the first day of main draw action at the new Miami Open after Tuesday’s washout. The day ended with yet another deluge which means there is another insane schedule set for Thursday. The tournament has moved to the Hard Rock stadium (more HERE). I think I like the courts – they seem way faster than Indian Wells but that’s not saying much 🤣. With the more favourable time difference, i’m hoping to be a bit more involved on the blog for this tournament. Read on for four stories from Wednesday’s action in Miami.
Victoria Azarenka beat Dominika Cibulkova, surviving a nervy conclusion to win, 6-2 3-6 6-4 in two hours and 31 minutes. It was actually a pretty decent contest for the first match on the Hard Rock Stadium. This was another step in the right direction for Azarenka who won her first three set match since Cincy last year.
After Cibulkova levelled up at one set all and went up an early break in the decider, I really questioned whether Azarenka believed that she could win the match. Cibulkova started to dictate with the forehand and Azarenka looked a tad on the careful side. It was clear confidence was lacking from both sides towards the end as errors and double faults creeped into both of their games. Azarenka showed an intent to be more aggressive and returned strongly at the end.
I think this was a huge win for Azarenka, as demonstrated by her reaction, and her most important of the 2019 season as as she continues to build her confidence. Next up for Azarenka is a second round encounter with Caroline Garcia on Thursday. Winnable based on the Frenchwoman’s recent form…
Anisimova into R2
Amanda Anisimova had trouble closing out Andrea Petkovic but got the job done in straights, 6-4 6-3. Next up is Anett Kontaveit in the second round. The American player was interview by Tennis Channel after the match and she spoke about her connection with the tournament. She’s always so calm and measured in interviews and press.
Thursday’s OOP 🎆
This schedule is insane.
Safarova announces intention to play Prague
I’d been wondering of late whether we’d see Lucie Safarova play again. Lucie confirmed on Tuesday that she will play Prague, both singles and doubles, the latter with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Via Karel Knap on Twitter, there is a possibility that she could still play Paris but it depends on getting a wild card. Sad times but i’m happy that Lucie will get the proper send-off that she deserves.