Following the conclusion of the BNP Paribas Open, the Sunshine Swing continues on the opposite U.S. coast with the Miami Open presented by Itaú. The third WTA 1000 tournament of 2022 kicks off with a slate of intriguing first-round matches featuring rising stars, established faces and players on the comeback trail.
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs. Marta Kostyuk (UKR)
A first-time encounter between two of the tour's most skilled but unpredictable shot-makers. Kostyuk won one of Indian Wells' most memorable matches this year, saving two match points to defeat Maryna Zanevska in an emotional three-hour marathon between two Ukrainian-born players.
The 19-year-old's process of converting her wide repertoire into consistent wins continues to be a fascinating evolution, and she comes up against a foe whose career has run along similar lines. Van Uytvanck, who won her fifth title in Nur-Sultan last October, has generally thrived best indoors, but is capable of deploying her tremendous reflexes and touch anywhere. The winner will face No.22 seed Belinda Bencic.
Amanda Anisimova (USA) vs. Shelby Rogers (USA)
An all-American derby that will bring back fond memories for Rogers, if not for Anisimova. The pair last met in the second round of Charleston last year, and Anisimova led 6-0, 4-1 before a remarkable turnaround. In front of her hometown crowd, Rogers eventually won 0-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Rogers is also in ominous form again. In Indian Wells, she snapped a four-match losing streak with another comeback, overturning a 5-1 third-set deficit to defeat Nuria Parrizas Diaz before upsetting Jelena Ostapenko in the second round. Coincidentally, No.10 seed Ostapenko will await the winner of this match in Miami as well.
Anisimova, who started 2022 brightly with the Melbourne Summer Set 2 title and a fourth-round run at the Australian Open, has tailed off since January. In Indian Wells, the World No.41 missed four match points against Leylah Fernandez in the second round before retiring due to illness.
Head-to-head: Rogers leads 1-0.
Best of the rest
Ranked No.409 two weeks ago, Daria Saville became the lowest-ranked player to reach the Indian Wells fourth round since No.473 Viktoriya Kutuzova in 2005. The Australian on the comeback trail claimed her first Top 10 win since 2018 over Ons Jabeur and has received both a boost to No.249 this week and a wildcard into Miami. Saville opens against Greet Minnen, whom she defeated in last year's Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Jasmine Paolini, fresh off her first Top 10 win over Aryna Sabalenka in Indian Wells, faces Ekaterina Alexandrova. The pair's only previous meeting was in the first round of the 2016 Trnava ITF 10K, won by Alexandrova in straight sets.
Yulia Putintseva, who reached the Miami fourth round in 2019, opens against 18-year-old German wildcard Nastasja Schunk. The Wimbledon girls' runner-up last year, Schunk rocketed from No.943 to No.294 in the WTA rankings over the course of 2021, and has risen to No.243 this week after reaching her third ITF W25 final in Joué-lès-Tours.
Zheng Qinwen, 19, was on the brink of a career-best win in Indian Wells when she led Angelique Kerber by a double break in the final set of their second-round match. The Chinese teenager was unable to close the former World No.1 out, and will get a chance to shake off the disappointment against Magda Linette. The winner takes on No.8 seed Ons Jabeur.