Coco Gauff of the United States exacted sweet revenge against China's Wang Qiang while another American player, Shelby Rogers stunned Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the opening round matches at the Miami Open here. Gauff and Ostapenko opened their campaigns in Miami on Friday against opponents to whom they had lost this year but came away with contrasting results. Gauff, no.14 seed here, reversed her Australian Open loss to Wang Qiang to defeat the qualifier 7-5, 6-4, but No.10 seed Ostapenko was stunned by Shelby Rogers 6-3, 7-6(0) for the second tournament in a row. In other matches on Friday, Second seed Iga Swiatek of Poland remained on course to become World No 1 as she defeated Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-0; no. 12 seed Victoria Azarenka defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) while fifth seed Paula Badosa of Spain got the better of Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 7-5.
Czech star Petra Kvitova too advanced to the Round of 32 with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win against Clara Burel of France while Brazil's World No 62 Beatriz Haddad Maia upset No. 4 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the second round. Gauff had previously defeated Wang twice on clay last year and notched her first hard-court victory over the former World No.12 in 1 hour and 39 minutes to reach the third round of Miami for the first time. She will next face another Chinese player, Zhang Shuai, who routed No.24 seed Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-1 in only 53 minutes. Gauff was both more consistent and more aggressive than Wang throughout the match, firing 29 winners to her opponent's 16. The 18-year-old American gained the first break of each set, leading 5-2 in the first and 5-3 in the second, but needed all of her resilience after Wang prevented her from serving either out. according to a report on WTA Tour's official website.
At the end of the day, solid serving was the bedrock of Gauff's win. She posted a 72% first serve percentage and landed six aces. But it was her defensive skills that gave her the edge in the match's tightest moments, with a series of phenomenal passing shots in the second set drawing gasps from the crowd. Before this month, Rogers had yet to beat Ostapenko in three meetings, though she had held a match point over the Latvian at Charleston 2019. Rogers claimed her first win in their rivalry 7-5, 7-6(7) in the second round of Indian Wells two weeks ago, and reprised the outcome at the same stage of Miami in 1 hour and 34 minutes. The result was her 22nd career victory against a Top 20 player. The American slammed down a remarkable 15 aces in total. Three came in one game to take a 4-3 lead, two more helped her survive four deuces to serve out the first set and the final trio arrived in an immaculate second-set tiebreak whitewash. Elsewhere, No.17 seed Elena Rybakina claimed her first-ever win in Miami 6-4, 7-5 over Elena-Gabriela Ruse. The Kazakh came from 3-0 down in the second set to defeat the Romanian in a first-time encounter.