Miami Open: Elena Rybakina takes three to reach round three; Daria Kasatkina ousted

Thrice former winner Victoria Azarenka also began the event on a triumphant note

by Abbey Johnson
Miami Open: Elena Rybakina takes three to reach round three; Daria Kasatkina ousted

Elena Rybakina, who won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last week, opened her 2022 Miami Open with a tough win against Anna Kalinskaya on Thursday. The 10th seed needed two hours and 15 minutes to post a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory.

Earlier, the 2023 Australian Open runner-up came from down a break in the opening set to claim it 7-5. However, Kalinskaya turned tables on her in the second set as she fought back from 1-4 down to take the set and level the match.

In the deciding set, Rybakina emerged as the better player she held her nerves and her serve to get past her opponent. Rybakina hit 14 aces and won 76% of her first-serve points. Kalinskaya won 64%. Neither player did well when it came to winning second-serve points – Rybakina won 46% of her second-serve points while Kalinskaya finished with 39%.

The Kazakh won 104 points for the match, 40 of which were winners. Kalinskaya won 89 points.

Miami Open: Elena Rybakina to face familiar face in Paula Badosa

In the third round, the 2022 Wimbledon winner will play Paula Badosa.

The Spaniard, seeded 21st came through against German qualifier Laura Siegemund 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2 in their round-of-64 clash. The round-of-32 clash between Rybakina and Badosa will be the second meeting between the two in as many weeks.

Badosa leads their head-to-head 4-2 but Rybakina beat Badosa in their round-three match-up at Indian Wells, two weeks ago. Daria Kasatkina was the only seed to leave the tournament in the second round. The eighth seed lost her opening-round clash to Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

Mertens came from down a set to post a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win after two hours and six minutes of play. Mertens’ next opponent will be Petra Martic. The Czech, seeded 29th won 6-3, 6-3 against Xiyu Wang in their second-round match.

Lastly, three-time Miami Open titlist, Victoria Azarenka also made it through to the third round. The former world no. 1, seeded 14th this year, won her first match in the tournament against Camila Giorgi. Azarenka took just 76 minutes to score a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Photo Credit: Tennis Letter Twitter

Elena Rybakina Daria Kasatkina Victoria Azarenka