The 2015 Itau Miami Open kicked off with 1st round qualifying, warm weather, plenty of sun, balmy tropical breezes, enthusiastic crowds, and lots of good tennis around the Crandon Park Tennis Center. Some of the women stars were out today, but it was mostly a day for the qualifiers to take center stage.
The day started out with one of the more lopsided matches, as Ipek Soylu demolished Andrea Mitu 6-0, 6-1 before several partisan fans. Although this was the first time I’ve seen her play in person, she looked impressive in this match, with a reasonably big serve for a relatively petite player, coupled with grooved and controlled groundstrokes off of both wings, and what appeared to be a fairly smart shot selection. If she can play this way consistently, the sky is the limit for her.
A couple of interesting practices today–Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges were throwing down some big bombs early this morning around 9AM in the early morning hours, while it was still relatively “cool”, and later, closer to the Noon hour, Ana Ivanovic and Garbiñe Muguruza drew a huge crowd of onlookers.
Grace Min outdueled Edina Gallovits-Hall in a tight three setter that really didn’t have much to separate the two players the whole way through. Grace put up a great fight to come through after fighting back from 1-4 to take a 6-5 lead in the 2nd set, only to lose it in a tie breaker and have to come from behind in set three.
Fellow American Sasha Vickery was not so fortunate, losing a three setter to rising star Ana Konjuh 3-6 6-3 6-2.
Ursula Radwanska methodically dispatched German Carina Wiiihoeft 6-2 7-5, and Julia Glushko beat Nicole Gibbs in straight sets.
American Louisa Chirico and her coach were hanging out at various spots around the Tennis Center today, hoping for an opportunity to take part, as Louisa was here as an alternate. I spotted her taking in the action at Tatiana Maria’s match early in the day, and heard a rumor she was out practicing a bit later.
I also spotted Nicole Vaidisova going for a jog down by the Grandstand in the afternoon and like the best of the best paparazzi photographers I chased after her until I got a good angle to snap a photo of her in mid stride as she came around for one of her laps.
That’s a wrap for Monday.