Kalinina rallies to end Wozniacki's Miami Open early

Kalinina rallies to end Wozniacki’s Miami Open early

/ 03:39 PM March 22, 2024

Caroline Wozniacki Miami Open

Caroline Wozniacki returns a shot against Anhelina Kalinina of the Ukraine during their match on Day 6 of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 21, 2024 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida — Anhelina Kalinina was down and almost out Thursday with former top-ranked player Caroline Wozniacki one point away from winning in straight sets at the Miami Open.

But the No. 32-seeded Ukrainian saved that match point and won the last five games of the second set before taking the third in a 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 victory in the second round.

Wozniacki, who won the Australian Open in 2018 and retired from tennis at the same tournament two years later, returned to the sport last year. She had two children during her time away from the game.

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Wozniacki reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells this month but retired from the match against top-ranked Iga Swiatek in the second set because of a right foot issue.

No. 11 Beatriz Haddad Maia also overcame a slow start in hot and humid conditions on the hard courts, rallying to beat Diane Parry 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. It was the Brazilian’s first career victory in three tries against Parry, who won both previous matches on clay.

In other women’s matches, No. 24 Katie Boulter advanced when Brenda Fruhvirtova retired from their match while trailing 7-6 (5), 1-0; No. 8 Maria Sakkari beat Yuan Yue 6-2, 6-2; Taylor Townsend defeated No. 25 Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-2; No. 22 Anna Kalinskaya beat Wang Xiyu 6-2, 6-2; and 17th-seeded Madison Keys defeated Diana Shnaider 6-2, 6-4.

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In men’s action, 2016 finalist Kei Nishikori lost 6-3, 6-4 to Sebastian Ofner in his first match at this level since Indian Wells in 2021. The 12-time ATP Tour champion, who once climbed to fourth in the rankings, was competing in his first ATP Tour event since Atlanta in 2023.

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The difference between practice and a match was evident, he said.

“Everybody gets little nerves and you get a little bit tight, and things can completely change,” Nishikori said. “You know, during the practice you very relaxed and you hit the ball very clean. But it’s not going to happen during the match. Some of these players, they don’t give you free points.”

Elsewhere among the men, Canadian hardcourt specialist Felix-Auger Aliassime was an early winner, beating Adam Walton 7-5, 6-4.

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The 32 seeded players were given first-round byes. Aryna Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed in the women’s draw, is expected to play her opening match against Paula Badosa on Friday.

TAGS: Caroline Wozniacki, Miami Open

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