Former World No. 7 Nicole Vaidisova made a triumphant return to tennis on the big stage today, making good use of her main draw wildcard to this year’s Miami Open in dispatching Hungary’s Timea Babos, 6-1 7-6, before packed and partisan stands on Court 10 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Wednesday. It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Nicole, but she moved on in the end, setting up a 2nd round clash with Indian Wells Champion Simona Halep on Friday.
Another former top star nearly duplicated Vaidisova’s efforts in turning back the clock late in the day, when ex World No. 2 Vera Zvonareva came from a set down to put Russian compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on the ropes, 2-6, 6-3 4-1, before succumbing in three, 5-7 in the third. Vera was visibly distraught after the match, heading toward the front entrance of Crandon Park in a hurry with her coach. Still, it was one her best efforts, if not the best effort of her comeback from injury, and a match that showed that the grit and fight is still there.
Julia Goerges demolished Jana Cepalova 6-1 6-0, with controlled power and dominant serving, and Daniela Hantuchova has probably seen better hitting days than the 6-1 7-6 pounding she took from Belinda Bencic today. Christina McHale needed just 2 sets to beat the obviously still ailing (and still bandaged) Sorana Cirstea, whose rather wild and rusty groundstrokes seldom found their mark today.
Indian Wells doubles champs Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza took to court 6 for some practice this afternoon as well.
Wednesday photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28300821@N05/sets/72157651150008969/