MIAMI GARDENS: Canada’s Bianca Andreescu won a first-round battle of former US Open champions, defeating Britain’s Emma Raducanu 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the Miami Open.
The pair, both born near Toronto and both of whom won the US Open as teenagers, battled for 2.5 hours on stadium court in an entertaining opening to the WTA and ATP combined tournament’s main draw.
Andreescu, ranked 31st in the world, struck the ball with confidence and freedom as she dominated the first set, but Raducanu regrouped and fought back in the second.
The 2021 US Open winner went 5-3 up in the set after an epic game which secured with her seventh break point and went on to force a third set.
But Andreescu’s power proved to be too much for the tiring Raducanu, who had shown promising signs of an upturn in form by reaching the last 16 at Indian Wells.
"I thought it was a very good match from both sides. I think Emma played really well. I think the key for me was just sticking with it, fighting as much as I could," said Andreescu, who struck seven aces.
"I kept telling myself it’s not over until it’s over and I also stayed positive. I tried not to drain my energy too much with focusing on emotions and all that stuff."
The Canadian has a tough test in the next round, where she will face seventh seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.
For the 20-year-old Raducanu, though, there was yet another injury concern with her reporting pain with her wrist.
"It’s something I’ve been managing for some time. I just need to review after this tournament really and figure out what my next steps are," she said, adding that she may get a fresh pair of eyes to look at the problem.
"We have been managing it, keeping on top of it, so I’m able to play in the short term, but the current solutions aren’t very viable long term," she said.
Italian Camila Giorgi needed three hours and 32 minutes to defeat Estonian Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), tying for the longest WTA main-draw match of the season.
Madison Brengle moved into the second round after Amanda Anisimova retired in the second set of their all-American encounter. Anisimova trailed 7-6 (7/5), 5-2 when she retired.
Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov claimed her first career main-draw victory at a WTA 1000 event by beating 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Sebov earns a chance to take on world number three Jessica Pegula in the second round.
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