The early rounds of the Miami Open were all about the women. We’ll save the men for another day. Yesterday and today had so many storylines on the women’s side that I can’t help but show them love.
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 21, 2018
Let’s start with yesterday’s matches. There were two matches that stood out to me. First, Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Lesia Tsurenko. Lesia is coming off of defending her Abierto Mexicano title in Acapulco only three weeks ago! Maybe Montezuma’s revenge has the opposite effect on her and Mexican water gives her heightened senses? Either way, she bowed out early here in Miami. Next, Rebecca Peterson defeated Eugenie Bouchard. I’m just a fan of Genie. She’s probably most notably known for taking a Super Bowl bet when the Patriot’s made that Epic comeback vs. the Falcons. The bet came when Genie tweeted that she knew Atlanta would win, while they were up before the game ended. A fan of hers then tweeted back, “if Patriots win we go on a date?” We all know what happened next. Patriots won the damn game, but the biggest winner of the night was John Goehrke, the guy from the bet. Genie made good on her side of the bet, and, from the looks of things, homeboy has parlayed that bet into a legit relationship with Genie. Some guys have all the luck…
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) March 20, 2018
Now let’s get into today’s matches. Garbiñe Muguruza advance to the next round after Amanda Anisimova was forced to withdraw due to injury. Spain’s Muguruza is the world #3, and has been tearing up WTA this year. The 2017 Wimbledon Champion has already reached the quarterfinals three times this year, twice reaching the semifinals, and once reaching the finals in Qatar, where she fell to Petra Kvitova. Maybe she’ll finally get a win this year in Miami. Next, Garbiñe faces the winner of tomorrow’s, Barbora Strycova and Christina McHale match.
Earlier today, Victoria Azarenka defeated American Catherine Bellis. The unranked Azarenka, similar to Serena Williams, is returning from maternity leave. She is a three-time Miami Open champion (2009, 2011 and 2016), and a two-time Australian Open champion. She’s on the right track for 4th Miami Open title. Standing in her way in the 2nd round will be American Madison Keys.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) March 21, 2018
The shocker of the night was Naomi Osaka defeating Serena Williams, but was it? Osaka is coming off her victory at Indian Wells, her 1st ever WTA title, and Serena is returning from a 14-month hiatus after giving birth. Naomi has climbed the rankings and is now the world #22. If she’s going to keep climbing, she’ll have to get by world #4, Elina Svitolina in the 2nd round.
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 22, 2018
Finally, my favorite match of the night was Monica Puig vs. Samantha Stosur. The Boricua and Miami Native, Monica Puig, was the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, but has struggled to regain her form ever since. Today’s match looked like she finally figured it out. She faced Australian, Samantha Stosur, whom she beat earlier in this year’s Australian Open, and probably wanted some on-court revenge on Monica for defeating her in the 1st round in her home country. Puig had control of her shots and had power behind them to boot. Her forehand dominated Stosur, and you could see the difference in skill level. Monica’s footwork was on point as well. She was flying all over the court. Midway through the 2nd set, Stosur gained some confidence and started to gain some ground, but she was left deflated after Puig broke her serve, to go up 4-3. Monica would go on to win 6-3, 6-4. Mofongo power! She now faces world #2 Caroline Wozniacki in the 2nd round. If Monica plays how she did today, she’s got a great chance to advance.
Downs Stosur, 6-3, 6-4! pic.twitter.com/lIGp2tgxjY
— WTA (@WTA) March 22, 2018