Miami | Preview: Raducanu draws Andreescu as the world’s best vie for WTA 1000 honours 

After the disappointment of Indian Wells, World No 1 Iga Swiatek is trying to reset ahead of starting her title defence at the Miami Open presented by Itaú, the main draw of which starts on Tuesday, the Pole having won in Florida to complete last year’s Sunshine Double as part of her 37-match winning streak, the longest run of the 2000s.

The WTA 1000 tournament is the second and final leg of the Sunshine Double, closing out the 4-week coast-to-coast swing before the tours turn to clay, that features a 96-player singles draw and 32-team doubles draw.

The tournament is played on outdoor hard court at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, using the Dunlop Grand Prix Regular Duty ball.

Swiatek was carrying a rib injury at Indian Wells, and will assess her fitness ahead of her 2nd-round match after receiving a bye, like all the 32-seeded players in the draw, where awaits the winner of an opening encounter between Katerina Siniakova from the Czech Republic and American Claire Liu.

The 21-year old Pole could potentially meet No 13 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia from Brazil or Latvia’s 24th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko in the Round of 16.

Ostapenko was the Miami Open runner-up in 2018, the last event held at the old venue in Key Biscayne, while Swiatek could well meet the woman who beat her at Indian Wells last week, in the Last 8 in Miami.

Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina, the No 10 seed, ousted Swiatek in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals, and the Kazakh, alongside No 8 Daria Kasatkina from Russia, and Spain’s No 21 Paula Badosa are the highest seeds in the bottom section of the first quarter.

Emma Raducanu last met Bianca Andreescu in Rome last year when she retired injured from the match

© Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Before that all gets under way, though, the 1st-round will feature a block-buster clash between two US Open champions, Britain’s Emma Raducanu, who won in 2021, against the 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu right off the bat.

Raducanu won 3 matches in a row at Indian Wells before going out to Swiatek, who had earlier accounted for Andreescu.

The Canadian has great memories in Miami, having gained the championship match in 2021 only to lose to Ash Barty.

This opener languishes in the 3rd quarter of the draw, with Andreescu going in having led Raducanu 6-2, 2-1 on the clay in Rome last year before the British No 1 retired from the match.

Things will not get any easier for the winner, either, who is guaranteed to face No 7 seed Maria Sakkari in the 2nd-round, with the Greek coming off a semi-final showing at Indian Wells.

Also in this loaded section is the Swiss 9th seed Belinda Bencic, 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, with Bencic and Fernandez possibly meeting in the 2nd-round.

World No 4 Ons Jabeur from Tunisia sits at the bottom of this quarter, and she will play Belgian Maryna Zanevska or a qualifier in the round 2.

Jabeur, who played her first event since the Australian Open at Indian Wells, could have a Round-of-16 clash with Czech No 15 Petra Kvitova or No 22 Donna Vekic from Croatia.

World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka is looking to add the Miami Open to her growing list of titles

© Mark Brown/Getty Images

The 2nd quarter sees the top-two ranked Americans, No 3 seed Jessica Pegula and No 6 Coco Gauff, possibly heading for a quarter-final showdown on home soil.

Pegula could face two-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka, the No 14 seed from Belarus, in the Round of 16, but, before that, the American might have to go through rising Czech teen Linda Fruhvirtova in the 2nd-round and her compatriot No 30 Danielle Collins in the 3rd-round.

Gauff has No 12 Liudmila Samsonova, another Belarusain, No 23 Zheng Qinwen from China, No 27 Anastasia Potapova from Russia and Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, the recent Austin champion, as potential hurdles en route to the quarters.

No 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, who is 17-2 this season, including the Australian Open title, rests at the bottom of the draw in the 4th quarter where, in round 2, she faces the winner of an all-American 1st-rounder between 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Shelby Rogers.

Stephens also won the Miami Open title in 2018, defeating Ostapenko in the final.

Sabalenka and the Czech 16th-seeded Barbora Krejcikova could meet for the third WTA 1000 tournament in a row in the Round of 16.

Krejcikova handed Sabalenka her first loss of the season in Dubai, but Sabalenka got her revenge in the Indian Wells Round of 16.

No 5 Caroline Garcia from France is in the top portion of the 4th quarter, along with No 11 Veronika Kudermetova Russia and Czech No 17 Karolina Pliskova, who was the Miami Open finalist in 2019, losing to Ash Barty.

Harriet Dart beat Katie Swan to advance to R2 at the Miami Open qualifying on Sunday

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The qualifying competition got underway on Sunday, with 4 Britons seeking places in the main draw but only 2 progressed to the 2nd-round, Harriet Dart, the 20th seed, who advanced at the expense of Katie Swan, 3-6 6-2 6-3, and Jodie Burrage, a 6-1 6-3 upset winner over Italy’s 13th seed, Sara Errani, while Heather Watson fell 6-1 6-1 in her opener against Czech Karolina Muchova, the 4th seed.

A general view of the Grandstand Court at sunset at the Miami Open presented by Itaú

© Mark Brown/Getty Images



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