By Tucker Verdi
Tennis, as any sport does, leans heavily on its veteran superstars while investing in the next generation. At Crandon Park Tennis Center on Tuesday, the Miami Open was center stage for the next generation as the first round of the women’s singles event began.
Only a handful of matches were played on the first day of the main draw, but future American superstars were the toast of the town.
2017 US Open junior champion Amanda Anisimova took down Wang Qiang 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in an up-and-down match. The 16-year-old American dominated the first set, seemed to struggle with her fitness in the second, then bounced back and owned the third.
Former Croatian player Bernarda Pera, who now plays for the United States, broke Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena five times en route to a 7-5, 6-4 win. The 23-year-old got her first win over a top 10 player in Johanna Konta in Melbourne earlier this year, who she could meet again in the third round.
The biggest match was a battle between two other American junior titlists in Claire Liu and Whitney Osuigwe. Liu, the 2017 Wimbledon Girls’ champ, was broken only once on her way to a 6-3, 6-1 victory. She took down Osuigwe, who defeated Liu to win her 2017 French Open Girls’ title, in just under 90 minutes despite her 10 double faults in the match.
Other notable matches included Kaia Kanepi retiring to Christina McHale while leading 1-3 in the first and Aliaksandra Sasnovich coming back 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 against Kristyna Pliskova after the latter had taken the first set in only 20 minutes.
Catch up on all of the day’s results at miamiopen.com/2018-results