(March 27, 2015) Rain saw the cancellation of some late afternoon matches and the evening session at the Miami Open on Friday including Serena Williams’ opening match. Saturday’s new schedule will be announced.
Third seed Simona Halep who took home the BNP Paribas Open title, just last Sunday, won 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 against wild card Nicole Vaidisova. Vaidisova a former two-time Grand Slam semifinalist and once No. 7 in the world, is back on the tour since retiring and coming back from multiple shoulder surgeries.
In the all-American battle on Stadium court in the late afternoon, No. 45 Soane Stephens defeated No. 17 Madison Keys 6-4, 6-2.
In the first meeting between both women, Stephens broke Keys’ serve five times during the match. Keys had 36 unforced errors during the match to only 14 winners.
“One of those days where didn’t quite have the feeling; couldn’t really find it,” Keys said.
“Sloane played really well. I thought in the first set I kind of had a chance to come back and maybe get into the match a little bit more, but a couple of bad points here and there and it kind of just got away from me.”
“It was windy,” Stephens said. “The conditions weren’t that great.
“Because I know going out there I had to play my game and stay focused and really focus on myself. I tried to do that the best I could. Obviously the conditions were tough, so I was just happy to get out with the win.”
“It’s always really good to see Sloane playing well,” Keys commented on her past Fed Cup teammate. “I thought ‑ I knew ‑ it was going to be a tough match.
“You know, she just played better than me today. You know, wishing her all the best and hoping she goes deep now.”
“I just go out and play my game and stay focused,” Stephens said. “Obviously she’s a great player. I knew I had to go out there and execute.
“That’s what I did out there with the tough conditions. I was pleased with myself.”
“I know Maddy is going to have a great career,” Stephens said.
“I am going to see her for like the next 10 years of my life consistently. I’m looking forward to seeing her get better and keep playing and doing what she’s doing now.”
Stephens will match up against Sweden’s Larsson, Johanna, who defeated 10th seed Lucie Safarova.
Former Miami champion Victoria Azarenka is into the third round of Miami by beating world No. 20 Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1.
The former No. 1 Jankovic was 0-13 on break point chances.
“I just really tried to stay focused and tried to find a way to stay in the game,” Azarenka said. I had to save a couple of break points right away, and then there was, you know, this battle.
“I know that Jelena is a fighter. Doesn’t matter what score it is, she will not give up. Some of those rallies she just went for it, and I felt like I wasn’t that aggressive on some points.
“So I just had to stay focused and stay tough and try to find a way to finish the match. You know, in those moments that’s what I really look for right now, to be able to step up my game when it’s needed.”
Azarenka, a former No 1 who has been plagued with injuries over the last two years, is currently ranked No. 36 in the world and trying to regain her form.
More to follow