Miami Open: Ana Konjuh and Sloane Stephens win milestone matches

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Miami Open: Ana Konjuh and Sloane Stephens win milestone matches

Germany’s Laura Siegemund, who reached the second round of the Miami Open on Tuesday, withdrew from the tournament with an injury to her right knee. Following the German’s withdrawal, 14th seed Victoria Azarenka reached the third round.

The Belarusian now awaits the winner between 24th seed Angelique Kerber and Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua next. Siegemund and Kerber’s compatriot, Andrea Petkovic reached the second round. Petkovic defeated China’s Shuai Zhang 7-5, 6-1.

Next up for Petkovic is fourth seed Sofia Kenin. Zhang’s compatriot, Saisai Zheng, also advanced to the second round. Zheng defeated France’s Fiona Ferro 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 and will next play sixth seed Karolina Pliskova.

Another Chinese player to enter the second round was Qiang Wang. Wang took out qualifier Aliona Bolsova of Spain 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and will play 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova next. The lone Chinese player to be ousted in the first round on Wednesday was wildcard entrant Xiyu Wang.

Jelena Ostapenko defeated Wang 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1. In the second round, the Latvian will play lucky loser Kirsten Flipkens who received a first-round bye. Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova has set up a second-round clash against seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Pironkova defeated Marta Kostyuk 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3. St. Petersburg Open semi-finalist, Svetlana Kuznetsova crashed out in the opening round. Alize Cornet defeated the Russian 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. In the second round, the Frenchwoman will face ninth seed Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova’s compatriots had mixed results, though. Tereza Martincova advanced to the round-of-64 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Yaroslava Shvedova. But Kristina Pliskova and Katerina Siniakova both crashed out in the first round.

Katie Boulter completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Pliskova while Ana Konjuh won her first match in three years – since the 2018 Brisbane International – 7-6(3), 7-5 against Siniakova.

Miami Open: Sloane Stephens, Danielle Collins impress

Mixed results were also the theme for Americans in the first-round action.

Sara Sorribes Tormo defeated Bernarda Pera 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. Slovakian qualifier Kristina Kucova overcame American qualifier Hailey Baptiste 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. However, both Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins won their respective round-of-128 clashes.

Stephens defeated French qualifier Oceane Dodin 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2. This was not only Stephens' first victory for the 2021 season but also her first win since the 2020 French Open. Collins, too, beat a French player in her opener in Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3, 6-3.

Italians Camila Giorgi and Elisabetta Cocciaretto lost in their respective first-round matches. Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova ousted Giorgi 6-2, 6-4. Australian wildcard Storm Sanders, meanwhile, sent Cocciaretto – who had qualified into the main draw – 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.

Russian Anna Kalinskaya defeated Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 7-6(5) in the first round. Begu’s compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu also suffered a similar fate at the hands of Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman claimed a 6-1, 6-2 win over the Romanian in just 64 minutes.

Lastly, at the Miami Open on Wednesday, Latvian Anastasia Sevastova and Serbian Nina Stojanovic advanced to the second round. Sevastova defeated Stojanovic’s compatriot, Olga Danilovic 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(3) while Stojanovic defeated Briton Heather Watson 6-4, 6-1.