Andreescu tops Raducanu, meets Sakkari; Murray, Isner Upset


Bianca Andreescu at the Miami Open on March 22, 2023

Americans Kenin and Rogers advance in Miami Open Wednesday session    

by Daniel Perisse

Miami Gardens, FL (March 22, 2023) – Bianca Andreescu edged Emma Raducanu of Great Britain 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the battle of past US Open champions this Wednesday and advanced to the Miami Open second round, where she will face No. 7 Maria Sakkari.

The Canadian, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2019, needed two hours and 33 minutes to defeat the British, the 2021 US Open champion. This was Andreescu’s second win over Raducanu in two matches – the previous one was in Rome last year, when the opponent retired due to a lower back injury.

Andreescu now plays Sakkari for the third time on the tour, with both players splitting victories in two previous meetings that ended in three sets: the Canadian won 7-6 (7), 3-6, 7-6 (4) in the 2021 Miami Open semifinals, while the Greek prevailed in the fourth round of the US Open of that same season, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-3.

“Playing Maria in the next round I think is going to be very difficult. She’s been playing really well. We’ve had two very tough matches, so hopefully we can put on a show for you guys,” affirmed the Canadian.

On the Grandstand, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin had a convincing victory over qualifier Storm Hunter of Australia, 6-0,7-6 (5). The Pembroke Pines, Fla. resident, who did not play at Hard Rock Stadium last year due to an ankle injury, won in 1 hour and 23 minutes. Her next rival is No. 28 seed Anhelina Kalinina, from Ukraine.

In an All-American clash that opened the Stadium evening session, Shelby Rogers needed three sets to oust Plantation, Fla. native Sloane Stephens, who won the US Open in 2017 and the Miami Open in 2018, 6-4, 3-6 6-2. The Charleston resident booked a second-round match against No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Earlier on Stadium, two-time former Miami Open champion Andy Murray was upset by Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4 in a men’s singles first-round match.

“Yeah, I struggled. I served pretty well, but the rest of the game was a bit of a problem today. Didn’t really return that well, made a number of errors that obviously I wouldn’t expect to be making,” stated the British, also a three-time Grand Slam champion.

On his turn, Lajovic will now play against American Maxime Cressy, seeded No. 30. Whoever wins might play World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the third round.

Elsewhere, Frenchman Gael Monfils had to retire due to a right wrist injury after only 28 minutes of play against countryman Ugo Humbert, who sets a second-round match against No. 29 seed Miomir Kecmanovic, from Serbia.

23-year-old Wu Yibing, from China, ousted British Kyle Edmund 7-5, 7-5 and now plays Argentina’s David Schwartzmann, No. 31 seed, while 35-year-old Italian Fabio Fognini was knocked off by qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff in a three-setter, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. The German faces No. 21 seed Grigor Dimitrov, from Bulgaria.

Another big upset closed the evening session: 21-year-old wild card Emilio Nava, from Woodland Hills, Calif., ousted 2018 Miami Open singles winner and runner-up in 2019 John Isner in two tie-breaks, 7-6 (5) and 7-6 (4), to set a second-round encounter against another Californian: No. 9 seed Taylor Fritz.

“To play John Isner on a stage like this, you don’t get it too often, but I tried to make the most out of it and believe I played well. John is one of the greatest servers of all time and sometimes I didn’t even see it (the serve), but it was an amazing match, and I am so happy to be able to win”, affirmed Nava right after obtaining his first Masters-1000 win.

“On some moments my arm was pretty heavy, I’m not going to lie, but I had to shake it out. I tried to stay calm and think ‘where am I going to hit this serve…’ I was wrong every single time, but I think I was able to focus, stay in the moment and I am very proud of myself for that.”

About Fritz, his next opponent, Nava sees it as a “very tough match” – however, he is not really thinking about it right now.

“I just want to enjoy the moment tonight. Tomorrow I’ll talk about games”.

You can find both draws here, and the daily order of play here.