By Tucker Verdi
Tennis, as any sport does, leans heavily on its veteran superstars while investing in the next generation. At Crandon Park Tennis Center on Tuesday, the Miami Open was center stage for the next generation as the first round of the women’s singles event began.
Only a handful of matches were played on the first day of the main draw, but future American superstars were the toast of the town.
2017 US Open junior champion Amanda Anisimova took down Wang Qiang 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in an up-and-down match. The 16-year-old American dominated the first set, seemed to struggle with her fitness in the second, then bounced back and owned the third.
Former Croatian player Bernarda Pera, who now plays for the United States, broke Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena five times en route to a 7-5, 6-4 win. The 23-year-old got her first win over a top 10 player in Johanna Konta in Melbourne earlier this year, who she could meet again in the third round.
The biggest match was a battle between two other American junior titlists in Claire Liu and Whitney Osuigwe. Liu, the 2017 Wimbledon Girls’ champ, was broken only once on her way to a 6-3, 6-1 victory. She took down Osuigwe, who defeated Liu to win her 2017 French Open Girls’ title, in just under 90 minutes despite her 10 double faults in the match.
Other notable matches included Kaia Kanepi retiring to Christina McHale while leading 1-3 in the first and Aliaksandra Sasnovich coming back 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 against Kristyna Pliskova after the latter had taken the first set in only 20 minutes.
Catch up on all of the day’s results at miamiopen.com/2018-results
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.
Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.