Fixture between Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu among must-see matches
by Daniel Perisse
Miami Gardens, FL (March 19, 2023) – The 2023 Miami Open presented by Itaú Women’s Singles main draw was announced this Sunday with some interesting first-round matches. And probably the most exciting among them will be the battle between two former US Open champions: Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2019, and Emma Raducanu, from Great Britain, who surprisingly lifted the trophy back in 2021.
These two players have faced off only once, last year in Rome, and Andreescu had a 6-2 2-1 lead before Raducanu retired. Whoever comes out of this first-round match will face in the second round No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari, who comes from a semifinal run in Indian Wells.
Defending champion Iga Swiatek is the No.1 seed and has a first-round bye. The Polish waits for Czech Katerina Siniakova or Thousand Oaks, Calif. native Claire Liu, two rivals she has never faced in a WTA-Tour tournament. In the third round, she could meet No. 24 seed Jelena Ostapenko, a runner-up at the Magic City in 2018, or Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, seeded No. 13.
A possible quarterfinal for Iga Swiatek would be against No. 10 seed Elena Rybakina, who took her out of Indian Wells in the semifinal to win the title of the first tournament of the 2023 Sunshine Double.
At the bottom of the draw, Aryna Sabalenka appears as the No.2 seed and comes from losing Indian Wells to Rybakina. She awaits for the winner of the American clash between 2018 Miami Open and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens and Charleston resident Shelby Rogers.
Sabalenka has won the Australian Open title and is 17-2 this season. If she advances, there is a chance of meeting No. 16 Barbora Krejcikova for the third time in a row at this round – the Czech was responsible for Sabalenka’s first loss in 2023 in Dubai, but she got her revenge in Indian Wells.
As for the other Americans, Buffalo, N.Y. native Jessica Pegula is the No. 3 seed and waits for the winner between 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova and a qualifier. Seeded at No. 6, Delray Beach, Fla. resident Coco Gauff will play Canadian Rebecca Marino or Yulia Putintseva, from Kazakhstan.
Rock Island, Ill. native Madison Keys is the No. 19 seed and faces in the second round Robin Montgomery, from Washington D.C., or Ana Bogdan, from Romania. St. Petersburg, Fla. native Danielle Collins appears as the No. 30 seed, waiting for a qualifier or Lauren Davis, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla.
Other US players in the draw are Port St Lucie, Fla. resident Alycia Parks, who plays against Elise Mertens of Belgium; Bernarda Pera, who faces Evgeniya Rodina; Taylor Townsend, from Chicago, clashes against Hungarian Anna Bondar. Wild card Ashlyn Krueger, who won the Orange Bowl Junior Tournament in 2020, has Erika Andreeva, another wild card, as her first rival.
Pembroke Pines, Fla. resident Sofia Kenin, former Australian Open champion and ranked No.4 in the world in 2020, waits for a qualifier. Amanda Anisimova, who resides in Aventura, Fla., faces Madison Brengle, from Dover, Del. in another all-American first-round clash.
Women’s Singles main draw matches begin on Tuesday, March 21. As for the Men’s Singles, the draw will take place on March 20, at the Final Set Stage, with play starting on Wednesday, March 22.
Qualifiers are to be held until March 21, determining 12 additional slots in each Singles’ draw. The Men and Women’s Doubles draws will be announced later this week and matches start on March 23.