World no. 3 Simona Halep overcame Caroline Garcia 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 in her opening-round match at the Miami Open on Thursday.
The third seed, who is playing for the first time in the 2021 season since the Australian Open, trailed the Frenchwoman by a set and a break before turning the match around comprehensively. Eleven of the last 12 games of the match went Halep’s way, who went on to reach the third round. This win also marked the former world no. 1’s 400th main draw match win on the WTA tour.
In the third round, Halep will play Anastasija Sevastova who also notched a comeback win over Coco Gauff, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka also needed three sets to reach the round-of-16. The Belarusian faced a stiff fight against Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova, before claiming a 0-6, 6-3, 7-6(9) win in two hours and 29 minutes. En route to her win, Sabalenka also saved a couple of match points in the deciding set tiebreak.
Sabalenka’s next opponent will be 32nd seed Veronika Kudermetova. The Russian got past Danielle Collins 6-3, 6-2.
Another player who needed to save a match point before moving on ahead in the draw was top-seed, Ashleigh Barty. The world no. 1 defeated qualifier Kristina Kucova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 27 minutes. In the final set, Kucova had a match point on her serve in the ninth game. However, Barty erased the match point before running through the latter five games of the set to clinch her win.
In the round-of-32, Barty will play Jelena Ostapenko who defeated Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
Miami Open: Angelique Kerber turns back time
Angelique Kerber posted a notable 6-0, 6-0 win over Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua to reach the third round. The German will play 14th seed Victoria Azarenka for a spot in the pre-quarter-finals.
Ana Konjuh set up a third-round clash against 15th seed Iga Swiatek. The Croatian wildcard stunned 18th seed Madison Keys 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, in her second-round clash, Swiatek defeated Barbora Krejcikova by the same score-line.
Ninth seed Petra Kvitova and 17th seed Johanna Konta will play each other for a place in the fourth round. Kvitova got past Alize Cornet 6-0, 6-4 while Konta defeated Magda Linette 6-4, 7-5.
Kvitova’s compatriot, 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova will play 11th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round. The Czech defeated Qiang Wang 6-4, 6-4 while the Swiss won against Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-1.
Lastly, 30th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and fifth seed Elina Svitolina completed the third-round line-up in the top half of the Miami Open. The Russian won 6-0, 6-4 against Nadia Podoroska while the Ukrainian came from a set down to defeat Shelby Rogers 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.