MIAMI -- When Storm Hunter fell behind Alize Cornet 4-2 in the third set of their Sunday qualifying match here, her logy, foggy brain started rationalizing. After the travel debacle that took her coast-to-coast from California to Miami in a rush to make the singles qualifying, she rolled up to Hard Rock Stadium less than an hour before the match.

“If I lose,” she told herself, “I have a day off tomorrow. Which is a win. And if I win, I’m still in the tournament. So either way, it’s a win-win for me.”

Somehow, the 29-year-old Australian emerged with a victory -- in 2 hours and 37 minutes.

“To be honest,” Hunter said, “I still can’t believe I won that match. I’ve never felt so tired in my life.”

Which for a professional athlete in a global sport, is saying something. What wasn’t apparent to those watching were the highly extenuating circumstances that created an almost unimaginable degree of difficulty. A very different kind of Sunshine Double.

Hunter navigated a 30-hour cross-country odyssey to play qualifying and now finds herself in a second-round match at the Miami Open against No.20 seed Emma Navarro. A former Doubles No.1 who has made a concerted effort to focus on her singles, Hunter is now closing in on a Top 100 debut and new career-high ranking.

“Very excited, actually,” Hunter said of Friday's upcoming encounter against Navarro. “She’s had an unbelievable last 12 months. Obviously, going to be a tough challenge but no pressure on me.”

Her harrowing adventure began at the BNP Paribas Open last Saturday, when she and Katerina Siniakova played in the women’s doubles final at 11 a.m. The No.3 seeds wound up losing to Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei 6-3, 6-4, but collected 650 ranking points and $118,400.

The problem? Hunter was due to play qualifying singles in Miami the next day. Earlier she had made the difficult decision to pass on an overnight direct flight from Los Angeles to Miami, opting instead to fly earlier through Dallas with the plan of sleeping in Miami. She brought her luggage to the courts, showered quickly after the trophy ceremony and drove with her team to the Palm Springs Airport. When the 3 p.m. flight was delayed, she missed her connection in Dallas, the last of the night to Miami.

“Got an airport hotel and a good sleep in Dallas -- four, maybe five hours – but at least it was in a bed,” Hunter recounted. “Got a 7 a.m. flight and arrived in Miami at 11.”

She wasn’t sure if the bags made it because they had been left in the care of the airlines overnight. As a precaution, her carry-on consisted of two rackets, shoes and match clothes. After waiting 40 minutes, the luggage appeared and she rented a car.

“It was one of those situations where if anything could go wrong, it did go wrong,” Hunter said, laughing. “We were literally exiting the car hire facility and the boom gate -- which I’ve never seen before in my life -- came completely down on the car. Huge bang.”

After another delay to assess damage (there was none), they drove straight to Hard Rock Stadium, arriving only 45 minutes before warmup time. After collecting credentials and a brief hit, she went out and promptly fell behind 4-2, before rallying to win a tiebreaker. Erasing the same deficit in the third, she beat Cornet 7-6 (1), 2-6, 6-4. After a proper night’s sleep, she went out and defeated Jule Niemeier 6-4, 7-5.

Hunter advanced to the second round on Wednesday when Martina Trevisan retired with the Australian leading 6-3, 3-0. And now there’s the match against Navarro, whom she’s never played.

Win or lose, there’s another rationalization within easy reach. She and Siniakova are the No.3 seeds here in doubles. They have a first-round match with the Chinese pair of Wang Xinyu and Zheng Saisai.

A win-win, for sure.