WTA

Giorgi outlasts Kanepi in equal-longest match of WTA season at Miami Open

By Sports Desk March 21, 2023

Camila Giorgi progressed into the Miami Open second round despite blowing a 5-0 third-set lead as she edged past veteran Kaia Kanepi in the equal-longest main draw match of the year on Tuesday.

The Italian world number 44, who won February's Merida Open, outlasted the Estonian 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) in three hours and 32 minutes.

The length was equal to the Erika Andreeva-Harriet Dart first-round match at the ATX Open last month for the longest this WTA season.

But Giorgi could have had an earlier finish, leading 5-0 in the decider before Kanepi hit back by winning the next five games, only for the Italian to rally in the tie-break, converting her fourth match point.

Giorgi, who blew match points at 5-3 and 5-4, will take on three-time Miami Open winner and 2023 Australian Open semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

Russian 34-year-old Evgeniya Rodina produced the upset of the day's play, beating 37th-ranked Bernarda Pera 6-3 6-4 in 73 minutes and will take on 20th seed Magda Linette in the second round.

Rodina is currently ranked 369th in the world having returned to the WTA Tour midway through last season after a two-year absence, having reached a career-high 67th in May 2019.

World number 39 Elise Mertens eased into the second round with a 6-1 6-4 win over USA's Alycia Parks, setting up a second-round clash with eighth seed Daria Kasatkina.

World number 43 Yulia Putintseva bowed out prematurely, going down 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to Canada's Rebecca Marino, who advanced to face sixth seed Coco Gauff.

Teenager Linda Fruhvirtova, ranked 50th in the world, also suffered a shock loss, beaten 6-2 4-6 6-4 by 172nd-ranked Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov, while Laura Siegemund won 6-3 6-4 over 52nd-ranked Mayar Sherif

Katerina Siniakova withdrew due to injury despite winning the first set against USA's Claire Liu, with scores at 6-3 3-3. Liu's prize is a second-round meeting with top seed and reigning champion Iga Swiatek.

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