Sunday Tennis Sunday: The Real Battle Has Just Begun for Top Seeds


Casper Ruud hitting a volley at the 2023 Miami Open in Miami Gardens, FLA.

Alcaraz, Ruud, Fritz and Sabalenka return to continue their Miami Open runs

by Daniel Perisse

Miami Gardens, FL (March 25, 2023) – There will be no fun under the sun for top seeds Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka, who will be back for their next matchups tomorrow, March 26, at the 2023 Miami Open in a packed Sunday that also includes World No. 4 Casper Ruud, American No. 1 player Taylor Fritz and many other tennis standouts.

Stadium play kicks off at 12 p.m. with a non-seeded clash between Canadian Bianca Andreescu and  Pembroke Pines, Fla. resident Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion. After defeating No. 7 seed Maria Sakkari in the second round, the 2021 Miami Open finalist hopes to get her game even better.

“For me I feel like there’s always room for improvement even if I’m feeling like I’m at 100%, but I know I’m never at 100% because there’s so much that I know I can learn. Getting to know my body as well through the years, and just kind of keeping momentum,” said the Canadian, who leads 3-0 the head-to-head against Kenin.

Opening the night session, not before 7 p.m., Aryna Sabalenka will face a seeded player for the first time at this Miami Open: No. 31 Marie Bouzkova.

“She is a great player, so I have to be ready for more rallies and be focused and ready knowing that the ball will come back and be ready to play an extra shot,” explained Sabalenka. This will be their first matchup on the WTA Tour.

On Friday, the World No. 2 called a medical timeout before the second game of the final set of her victory against Charleston resident Shelby Rogers and seemed to have some trouble moving.

“For now I feel fine, I’ll try to fix this problem as soon as possible, hopefully I’ll be ready.”

On the men’s side, Carlos Alcaraz is back for his third-round match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, who defeated former World No. 1 Andy Murray and American Maxime Cressy, the No. 30 seed and famous for his serve-and-volley tactics, 6-4, 7-6 (2).

“I always say the same when I come into a tournament: for me, it is a new tournament. It’s day by day, round by round, try to play my best every day, try to enjoy every match as well. That’s the only goal and only thoughts on my mind in every match,” exclaimed the Spaniard, who leads 3-0 the head-to-head.

Tomorrow’s day session also features Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. native Taylor Fritz, the No. 9 seed. The best American in the ATP Ranking (World No. 10) has a meeting against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, the No. 24 seed. The Canadian has won five out of eight matches, but Fritz prevailed in the most recent, in Acapulco in February.

“It’s changed a lot for me over the last, like, year and a half or so because I always wanted to win tournaments, and I felt like a lot of the times it was highly unlikely that that was going to happen with a lot of these guys in the draws and with how, you know, unbeatable they were,” commented the 2022 Indian Wells winner.

Closing the Stadium slate, not before 8:30 p.m., World No. 3 and last year’s Miami Open finalist Casper Ruud takes on Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp, the No. 26 seed and who comes from winning a match in a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career.

The Dutchman has prevailed on two of the three matches against the Norwegian. Last season, they split victories – Ruud was the victor in a three-setter at the Rome Masters 1000.

On Grandstand, No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner takes on Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, seeded No. 21, not before 7 p.m., and at 11 a.m. Vorhees, N.J. Tommy Paul faces Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Other seeded players will take on court Butch Buchholz: Danish Holger Rune, the No. 7 seed, plays Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, seeded No. 31, and Andrey Rublev, No. 6, challenges Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic, the No. 29 seed and who reached the quarterfinals last year.

You can follow all the men’s and women’s first-round results and the draws here.

Download the order of play for tomorrow and get your tickets through this link.