Favorites Gauff, Pegula, Rybakina Winners At Miami Masters; Sabalenka v Rogers Friday

by Staff | March 24th, 2023, 12:31 am
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The seeds in the women’s draw took the court for their Miami Masters openers, and it was a good day for them.

American No. 1 Jessica Pegula rolled past Canadian Katherine Sebov 6-3, 6-1. Pegula broke serve five times in the match.

No. 6 seed and local favorite Coco Gauff also eliminated a Canadian in Rebecca Marino 6-4, 6-3. The 19-year-old finished with six aces, tossed in three doubles and broke Marino five times in the match.

“Today it was an up-and-down match, honestly,” said Gauff. “I did well in the returning part, considering [Marino is] a big server. I’m really happy with how I played.

“She’s not an easy opponent. She makes a lot of big shots, doesn’t really give you a lot of rhythm. You kind of just have to hang in there.”

In the nightcap, Indian Wells winner Elena Rybakina had to work to defeat Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in a match that went the distance 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

“I’m happy that I managed to win. I had some issues during the second set, it didn’t go my way, but I’m glad that in the third I found my way and closed the match”, said Rybakina

“I had only two days, and today was quite a long day, finishing this late. Courts are different, balls are different, hopefully these three sets will help me play better in the next round.”

The 12th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova crushed Viktorija Golubic 6-1, 6-1. Elise Mertens of Belgium upended (25y,8r) 8th-seeded Daria Kasatkina 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Former champion Victoria Azarenka steamrolled Camila Giorgi 6-3, 6-1 in a good win.

No. 21 seed Paula Badosa had to fight off Laura Siegemund 7-6(7-2), 4-6, 6-2.

Qinwen Zheng, former finalist Jelena Ostapenko, Anastasia Potapova and Danielle Collins were also winners.

Collins will now face Pegula while Potapova gets Gauff.

The second round wraps up tomorrow with Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka battling the dangerous Shelby Rogers. Sabalenka, though, is ahead of Rogers 3-0 in their tour-level encounter including a January win in Melbourne.

No. 4 Ons Jabeur opens play against Varvara Gracheva. No. 5 Caroline Garcia faces Sorana Cirstea, No. 7 Maria Sakkari will challenge former finalist Bianca Andreescu, No. 9 Belinda Bencic collides with Leylah Fernandez, No. 11 Veronika Kudermetova meets Marketa Vondrousova, and No. 15 Petra Kvitova faces Linda Noskova.

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