Halep Struggles Through, Lower Seeds Fall like Flies at Miami Open
by Staff | March 24th, 2017, 11:55 pm
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All five Top 10 seeds in action won their openers on Friday at the Miami Open while a bulky eight lower seeds made exits in second-round play.


Top 10-seeded winners were No. 3 Simona Halep fighting past Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; No. 6 Garbine Muguruza coming from a set down to defeat unseeded American Christina McHale 0-6, 7-6(6), 6-4; No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova rolling Mandy Minella 6-2, 6-2; No. 8 Madison Keys strolling past Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-2; and No. 10 Johanna Konta outlasting Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4.

Muguruza trailed McHale 0-6, 2-3 when play was suspended due to rain on Thursday night. Muguruza came all the way back on Friday, saving a match point to earn victory.

“I think I had a second chance with the rain,” Muguruza said after the match. “It had everything, the match — she started playing very well the first set yesterday, and I think my game was not exactly how I wanted it to be. I was missing by a little and she was not missing at all. I just forgot about it, and I woke up today and I said, ‘Hey, this is not over.’ I went to the court, I fight, and I got it in the end.”

Halep beat Osaka for the second time in three sets in their two career meetings, continuing her comeback from a knee injury.

“It’s really important that I could win this match today,” Halep said. “I think it was very, very difficult to play against her in the first match here at the tournament, but I’m really happy. I had no pain, I stayed there two hours, fighting, running all over the place…so it’s great.”

Other seeded winners on the day were No. 14 Samantha Stosur stopping the run of fellow Aussie Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4, and No. 15 Barbora Strycova coming from a set down to defeat Swede Johanna Larsson 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

On the upset tip were Croat Ajla Tomljanovic upsetting No. 13 Elena Vesnina 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, Romanian Sorana Cirstea topping No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, China’s Peng Shuai defeating No. 21 Caroline Garcia 6-4, 6-0, Romanian Patricia Tig tipping No. 22 Kristina Mladenovic 7-6(4), 6-2, France’s Pauline Parmentier defeating No. 24 Timea Babos 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-0, American Taylor Townsend strolling past No. 25 Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2, Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena Vecino coming back to beat No. 28 Irina Begu 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, and Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit capping No. 32 Ekaterina Makarova 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-2.

Due to the rain delay, Venus Williams vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia, Shelby Rogers vs. Daria Kasatkina and Carla Suarez Navarro and Julia Goerges were still battling at midnight, while No. 1 Angie Kerber and Duan Ying-Ying were just taking he court.

Matches to look for Saturday in Miami are (5) Aggie Radwanska vs. (26) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, (2) Karolina Pliskova vs. (27) Yulia Putintseva, and (6) Garbine Muguruza vs. (30) Shuai Zhang.


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