Halep Rallies Past Lucky Loser Dodin, as Eight Women’s Seeds Fall at Miami Open
(March 22, 2018) No. 1 Simona Halep came back from 2-4 down in the third set to defeat Lucky Loser Ocean Dodin of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday at the Miami Open. The Romanian , who appeared to still be hampered by an ankle injury gave an honest evaluation of her performance:
“I played bad, but, you know, you have these days, and when you don’t give up, is the most important thing. I think that’s why I won today, because I didn’t give up. I didn’t play well, but, you know, in the end, if you win it, you take only the positives.”
Asked about her ankle, the three-time major finalist explained: “I was too tight. Maybe that’s why I switched my ankle again. I will treat it. Is nothing bad. But you never know with ankles. I’m used to them.”
Halep’s road does not get any easier in the third round, she faces 30th seed Agniezska Radwanska next. “It’s always tough to play against her, because she’s very intelligent,” Halep said. “She’s playing soft so is not going to be like today.
“But she’s very smart on court, and I have to be more aggressive than today. I have to take the ball faster.
“We will see how is gonna be, but definitely it’s gonna be a tough match. So I’m ready for it. I’m ready to run. I’m here just to try to play better and better day by day.”
Other top seeded players advancing were No. 5 Karolina Pliskova, 10 Angelique Kerber and No. 3 Garbine Muguruza who moved on when her opponent Amanda Anisimova withdrew from event with a foot injury she sustained in her first round match. No. 13 Sloane Stephens, No. 20 Anastasija Sevastova and No. 23 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are also in the third round.
Eight women’s seeds lost on Thursday – No. 7 Caroline Garcia, No. 12 Julia Goerges, , No. 17 Magdalena Rybarikova, No. 18 Svetlana Kuznetsova , No. 25 Barbora Strycova, No. 27 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 32 Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2.
Wildcard Victoria Azarenka moved on, leading 7-6, 2-0 when 14th seed American Madison Keys retired with a hamstring injury.
“I felt my hamstring kind of tighten up in the middle of the first set, and at the end of the first I really felt it get worse,” Keys said. “Then playing the first couple of games, it wasn’t getting better, and I didn’t want to make it worse than it already was.”
“It’s, you know, the worst way to finish the match. I always feel bad for the opponent,” noted Azarenka, the former No. 1 from Belarus. “But it is sport, and, you know, these things happen. The most you can hope is Madison recovers as soon as possible. Hopefully she will be able to play next tournament, and, you know, it won’t affect the rest of the season.”
Reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens has reached the third round. She defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 6-3.
“So playing amazing tennis right out of the gates was awesome, but I still needed to work on a lot of things,” Stephens said. “So I think now my time after Australia — I didn’t have the longest offseason at the end of last year, and then after Australia I had a bit of time to kind of focus on the things I really wanted to work on.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there, and that’s all I can really, you know, try to do.”
Singles – Second Round
 S. Halep (ROU) d [LL] O. Dodin (FRA) 36 63 75
 Ka. Pliskova (CZE) d E. Makarova (RUS) 75 75
[Q] A. Riske (USA) d  C. Garcia (FRA) 63 61
 A. Kerber (GER) d J. Larsson (SWE) 62 62
C. Witthoeft (GER) d  J. Goerges (GER) 76(2) 46 64
 S. Stephens (USA) d [WC] A. Tomljanovic (AUS) 61 63
[WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) d  M. Keys (USA) 76(5) 20 Retired
[Q] M. Niculescu (ROU) d  M. Rybarikova (SVK) 63 63
Z. Diyas (KAZ) d  S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 61 63
 A. Sevastova (LAT) d A. Cornet (FRA) 75 64
 A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d A. Sasnovich (BLR) 62 36 62
C. Mchale (USA) d  B. Strycova (CZE) 61 64
[Q] Y. Wang (CHN) d  C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 75 63
 A. Radwanska (POL) d A. Van Uytvanck (BEL) 63 76(4)
S. Hsieh (TPE) d  S. Cirstea (ROU) 75 62