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The Miami Open Masters 2018 heated up Thursday as the tournament reached the second round.
Serena Williams may have been knocked out in the opening round, but there was still plenty of star power on display in Round 2. Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens were among those whose tournament play began Thursday.
There’s still plenty of tennis to be played before a champion is crowned, but the Miami Open Masters 2018 is off to an intriguing start.
No. 5 Karolina Pliskova def. Ekaterina Makarova (7-5, 7-5)
No. 30 Agnieszka Radwanska def. Alison Van Uytvanck (6-3, 7-6 [7-4])
No. 20 Anastasija Sevastova def. Alize Cornet (7-5, 6-4)
Christina McHale def. No. 25 Barbora Strycova (6-1, 6-4)
No. 10 Angelique Kerber def. Johanna Larsson (6-2, 6-2)
No. 23 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (6-2, 3-6, 6-2)
Monica Niculescu def. No. 17 Magdalena Rybarikova (6-3, 6-3)
No. 1 Simona Halep def. Oceane Dodin (3-6, 6-3, 7-5)
Carina Witthoeft def. No. 12 Julia Goerges (7-6 [7-2]. 4-6, 6-4)
Yafan Wang def. No. 27 Carla Suarez Navarro (7-5, 6-3)
Alison Riske def. No. 7 Caroline Garcia (6-3, 6-1)
No. 13 Sloane Stephens def. Ajla Tomljanovic (6-1, 6-3)
Zarina Diyas def. No. 18 Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-1, 6-3)
Victoria Azarenka def. No. 14 Madison Keys (7-6 [7-5], 2-0; ret.)
It wasn’t the easiest day for the top seeds.
Caroline Garcia, Julia Goerges, Magdalena Rybarikova, Barbora Strycova and Svetlana Kuznetsova were all upset in the second round Thursday. And perhaps just as surprisingly, all but Goerges went down in straight sets.
Risky moves! @Riske4Rewards upsets World No. 7 Garcia, 6-3, 6-1. #MiamiOpen https://t.co/TaU8YfrN0j
It briefly looked like Simona Halep may join that group of early exits after she dropped her first set against Oceane Dodin 3-6, but she managed to fight back, even with a visit from the trainer in the second set.
Ultimately, it was a hard-fought three-set victory by the top-ranked player:
.@Simona_Halep survives a scare! The World No.1 comes through an epic three-set battle with Dodin 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Give credit to Dodin for an amazing effort at the @MiamiOpen 👏 https://t.co/WUnr4eeBst
.@Simona_Halep will face @ARadwanska in round three of @MiamiOpen The World No.1 says she needs to be more agressive. https://t.co/w1i9rJXl0K
Meanwhile, Stephens cruised to victory with an impressive showing against Ajla Tomljanovic:
“Supreme” Sloane Stephens is on 🔥 The American seals the first set 6-1 in 22 minutes at the @MiamiOpen https://t.co/n7xY7MFxja
.@SloaneStephens makes light work of Tomljanovic. She wins 6-1 6-3 inside 75 minutes to advance to round three of the @MiamiOpen https://t.co/sLN1ZhXQ7A
“I’m super-pumped!” @SloaneStephens is thrilled to pick up a quick straight sets victory on home soil at the @MiamiOpen https://t.co/CsNATN7Wu3
Not even a sniff of an upset there.
The match between No. 14 Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka was shaping up to be a good one, needing a tiebreaker to decide the first set:
A beauty of a backhand return by @Madison_Keys! #MiamiOpen https://t.co/mNi3Z60ZL1
.@vika7 saves set point with a gutsy drop shot and volley! #MiamiOpen https://t.co/x7CMmOEMcH
.@Vika7 takes the opening set in a tiebreaker, 7-6(5)! #MiamiOpen https://t.co/Fz9HYhlFkm
However, an injury forced Keys to bow out early:
Tennis Channel @TennisChannel
A shocking end. @Madison_Keys retires from her match against @Vika7. https://t.co/kefvx3AdPS
Per ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford, it was a hamstring injury that caused the 23-year-old American to end the match in the second set.
Afterwards, Azarenka wished her opponent a speedy recovery:
victoria azarenka @vika7
Sorry to see Madi @Madison_Keys retire. Hope you heal quickly and back playing ASAP! ❤️
Survive and advance is the name of the game. It’s easier said than done, as some found out on this day.
Evgeny Donskoy def. Aljaz Bedene (7-5, 6-4)
Nikoloz Basilashvili def. Thomas Fabbiano (1-6, 6-2, 7-5)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Tennys Sandgren (7-6 [7-3], 7-6 [8-6])
Leonardo Mayer def. Donald Young (3-6, 6-4, 6-2)
Yoshihito Nishioka def. Alex de Minaur (6-2, 6-4)
Nicola Kuhn def. Darian King (7-6 [7-4], 6-4)
Denis Shapovalov def. Viktor Troicki (6-3, 6-7 [4-7], 7-6 [8-6])
While the women’s draw featured big names across the board Thursday, the same cannot be said in the men’s singles draw. The top players in the world will have to wait another day to get in on the action.
Less than a month shy of his 19th birthday, Denis Shapovalov earned himself a hard-fought victory over Viktor Troicki:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
Having fun in the #MiamiOpen sun are we, @denis_shapo? 😎 https://t.co/6LLaZOAZ74
Tennis TV @TennisTV
The second round awaits… 18-year-old @denis_shapo grinds out victory on his #MiamiOpen debut to beat Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-7(4) 7-6(6) https://t.co/6KLkNJ7U38
Even in the loss, Troicki managed to pull off quite the highlight:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
What. A. Shot. 😮 Stunning from @troicki_viktor… #MiamiOpen https://t.co/rS0mzd97oj
Not only did it require three sets, but it required tiebreakers in each of the final two sets.
This match also featured a bizarre moment:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
Tense times on Grandstand… 😬 #MiamiOpen https://t.co/c7JJtIzVoW
For Yoshihito Nishioka, it was smooth sailing on his way to a straight-set victory over Alex de Minaur, but the competition is about to get tougher in a hurry. No. 10 Tomas Berdych awaits him in the second round.
Notable Friday Matches
No. 4 Elina Svitolina vs. Naomi Osaka (11 a.m. ET)
No. 8 Venus Williams vs. Natalia Vikhlyantseva (not before 5 p.m. ET)
No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Monica Puig (not before 9:30 p.m. ET)
No. 9 Petra Kvitova vs. Aryna Sabalenka
No. 16 CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Danielle Collins
No. 2 Marin Cilic vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert (not before 1 p.m. ET)
No. 9 Novak Djokovic vs. Benoit Paire (after Cilic-Herbert)
No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Robin Haase (8 p.m. ET)
No. 14 John Isner vs. Jiri Vesely
No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov vs. Maximilian Marterer (not before 5 p.m. ET)
Full schedule can be seen at the ATP World Tour official website.