Top seeded Naomi Osaka advanced to the third round but not before she had dropped a set to Yanina Wickmayer while ninth seeded Aryna Sabalenka went down in straight sets to Ajla Tomljanovic in another second round match at the WTA Miami Open.
Osaka hit 51 winners and 14 aces in her strange-looking 6-0, 6-7, 6-1 win over the qualifier Wickmayer, with the first and third one-sided sets sandwiching a thriller in the second. With Wickmayer having had a very tough years since having risen to 12th in the world at one stage, she wasn’t expected to give Osaka much of a fight going into this encounter.
And that is exactly how it looked like it would turn out before Wickmayer turned things around in the second set. Seven of the 12 games went to deuce and this fighting spirit shown by Wickmayer also pushed Osaka into making many more unforced errors.
Osaka lost the tie-breaker but came back strongly in the final set to complete the win and set up a meeting with Hsieh Su-wei in round three. Su-wei defeated Alison Riske in straight sets to move into the third.
The biggest upset in the women’s section of the draw came in the form of Sabalenka going down to Tomljanovic. Tomljanovic won 6-3, 6-4, to land Sabalenka her worst defeat in recent times – falling at her very first hurdle.
Also bowing out was American youngster Amanda Anisimova, who went out in three sets to Anett Kontaveit, while Marketa Vondrousova got the better of 2017 French Open winner and 22nd seeded Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 6-1. Kontaveit will now take on Tomljanovic in her third round match.
In some of the other matches of the day, Johanna Konta dropped just five games in her win over Jessica Pegula, while Ash Barty made short work of Australian Open third rounder and Thailand Open winner Dayana Yastremska.
Kiki Bertens, ranked seventh, was a 6-4, 6-1 winner over Xiyu Wang, while Donna Vekic also advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Indian Wells Open title winner Bianca Andreescu made it her ninth win in a row as she defeated Sofia Kenin to advance to round three as well. She won 6-3, 6-3 to erase any doubts over her form or fitness having played the best part of two weeks leading into this tournament.