Sabalenka, Gauff sail into Miami Open third round

Photo of Sabalenka alonside Coco Gauff in Miami open.

In Miami on March 23, Aryna Sabalenka, the second-ranked player globally, showcased resilience and determination to advance to the third round of the Miami Open. Despite facing a formidable opponent in Paula Badosa, Sabalenka secured a composed victory of 6-4, 6-3 in a match disrupted by adverse weather conditions.

Early in the encounter, Sabalenka encountered resistance from Badosa, particularly in the initial set. Nonetheless, she demonstrated her characteristic tenacity by breaking Badosa’s serve to gain a pivotal advantage.

Throughout the opening set, Badosa fiercely contested, demonstrating notable strength in her serves to stave off two break points against Sabalenka, thereby attaining a 3-2 lead. Nevertheless, Sabalenka managed to break Badosa to establish a 4-3 lead, following an impressive hold at 4-5 down where she saved two set points.

Despite Badosa’s determined efforts to remain competitive, Sabalenka’s dominance prevailed as she secured the first set and sustained her momentum to claim victory in the second set.

With this triumph over Paula Badosa, Sabalenka has now accumulated 25 WTA-1000 match wins since the start of 2023, placing her alongside Iga Swiatek (40), Elena Rybakina (34), and Cori Gauff (26) as the fourth player to achieve this milestone. Sabalenka’s success sets the stage for an intriguing third-round encounter against Anhelina Kalinina, as the Belarusian athlete continues her pursuit of excellence amidst personal adversities.

Meanwhile, on a different court, Coco Gauff, ranked third globally, showcased her talent with a commanding display against Nadia Podoroska. Gauff’s unwavering aggression and precision propelled her to a convincing 6-1, 6-2 win.

In just 33 minutes of play, Gauff quickly took control of the match, securing the first set. Despite facing two set points from Gauff, Podoroska showed resilience in the seventh game, earning her first break point.

Credit is due to Podorska, who impressively saved four match points from Gauff in the eighth and final game, injecting some uncertainty. However, ultimately, she couldn’t match Gauff’s superiority as Gauff secured the fifth game for a predominantly dominant victory.

Gauff’s clinical performance highlights her growing maturity and confidence as she looks ahead to a third-round clash against Oceane Dodin.

Despite dealing with adverse weather conditions and strong opponents, both Sabalenka and Gauff displayed their resilience and determination, setting the stage for exciting matchups in the upcoming rounds of the Miami Open.

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