Victoria Azarenka became the first player to win a match at the new Hard Rock Stadium at the Miami Open. The 3-time champion outlasted former semifinalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
“Even though we know each other pretty well, I feel that we haven’t played in a few years,” Azarenka said. “I feel the last time was actually in Miami but five years ago or so.
“She’s a very dangerous opponent, because no matter how many, she comes off confident or not confident against top players, she’s always bringing a little bit of a next level and good game. She’s a big fighter. So I knew it’s not going to be easy, for sure.”
Azarenka will next face No. 19 seed Caroline Garcia today.
On Tuesday, the first day of women’s play was completely washed out due to rain. Wednesday night saw the rains return, postponing matches including Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu.
Other players who did get their matches in were Sam Stosur, Maria Sakkari, Marketa Vondrousova and teen sensation Amanda Anisimova who beat former Top 10 Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-3.
The men also began play yesterday with a few notable results, especially in qualifying where we saw Felix Auger-Aliassime get into the main draw. But former Top 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was ousted by Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-4.
In main draw action, Janko Tipsarevic won his first tour-level match since the 2017 US Open upended American Bradley Klahn.
Hubert Hurkacz kept it going against Matteo Berrettini and Federico Delobinis was a winner.
On Thursday, due to the rain a massive schedule is in store at the new Miami venue. Headlining will be Madison Keys, who meets Stosur, Petra Kvitova and veterans Venus Williams and David Ferrer.
Ferrer, who made the finals in Miami in 2013, will begin his final hard court event of his career against Sam Querrey.
THURSDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
Stadium Starts At 12:00 Noon
1st Rd (Q) Dalila Jakupovic v Venus Williams
1st Rd (WC) Christopher Eubanks v Damir Dzumhur
Not Before 4:00 Pm
2nd Rd -3 Petra Kvitova v Maria Sakkari
Not Before 7:30 Pm
2nd Rd Samantha Stosur v -17 Madison Keys
Not Before 9:00 Pm
1st Rd Sam Querrey v (WC) David Ferrer
Grandstand Starts At 12:00 Noon
1st Rd Tennys Sandgren v (Q) Alexander Bublik
Not Before 2:00 Pm
1st Rd Yafan Wang v Kristina Mladenovic
1st Rd Feliciano Lopez v Benoit Paire
Not Before 5:00 Pm
2nd Rd -19 Caroline Garcia v Victoria Azarenka
Not Before 7:00 Pm
1st Rd Ernests Gulbis v (WC) Miomir Kecmanovic
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