Andreescu downs Raducanu in Miami Open battle of Grand Slam winners
Andreescu served seven aces and saved 11 of the 12 break points she faced
Miami Gardens (Reuters) - Canada's Bianca Andreescu beat Britain's Emma Raducanu 6-3 3-6 6-2 at the Miami Open on Wednesday in a first-round clash of former U.S. Open champions looking to recapture top form after a spate of injuries.
Andreescu, coming off a third-round loss to world number one Iga Swiatek at Indian Wells, served seven aces and saved 11 of the 12 break points she faced against Raducanu to set up a clash with Greek seventh seed Maria Sakkari.
"I just came in here wanting to play my best with what I had today, I think I did that," Andreescu said during her on-court interview. "I didn't let my negative emotions get the best of me. I stayed positive, I was very energetic and I just never gave up. Those were the keys today."
The 22-year-old Canadian broke first for a 2-0 lead when Raducanu sent a forehand long and remained in control as she closed out the opener on her fourth set point when the Briton sent a backhand into net.
Raducanu turned into the aggressor in the second set and got the edge she needed in a wild eighth game that she won on her seventh break point for a 5-3 lead before serving out the set.
In the decider, world number 31 Andreescu came back from 0-40 to hold serve in the opening game and broke for a 4-2 lead when Raducanu desperately reached for a one-handed backhand that she sent long.
With the finish line in sight, Andreescu ended the two hour, 32-minute clash on her first match point with another break when Raducanu sent a running forehand long. Andreescu, who retired with a shoulder injury during her semi-final match at the Thailand Open in February, is still looking for her first title since the 2019 U.S. Open.
Raducanu, who came to Miami after losing to Swiatek in the fourth round at Indian Wells, has also been plagued by injury and inconsistency since she burst onto the scene with her stunning triumph at the 2021 U.S. Open.
In addition to the wrist injury that cut short her 2022 season, Raducanu suffered an ankle problem in the leadup to the Australian Open and tonsillitis forced her to withdraw from the Austin Open last month.
In the evening session, Shelby Rogers bounced back from an off-key second set to see off fellow American Sloane Stephens 6-4 3-6 6-2. Rogers broke serve for a third time on match point to defeat Stephens and set up a meeting with second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who beat Rogers en route to the Australian Open title in January.
Americans Sofia Kenin, Taylor Townsend, Madison Brengle and Robin Montgomery, Canada's Leylah Fernandez, China's Wang Xinyu and Czech Karolina Muchova were among those who also advanced at the WTA 1000 event on Wednesday.