2023 Miami Open Women’s Recap

AP/Jim Rassol, file

2023 Miami Open Women’s Recap

After Indian Wells, I wrote about how Rybakina, Sabalenka, and Swiatek were in the midst of creating a wonderful rivalry at the top of women’s tennis.

Those three players have pretty much dominated at the biggest tournaments in the last year or so. So, it was logical to think that at the Miami Open, these ladies would continue their dominance.

Unfortunately, Swiatek was not able to participate. And while Rybakina and Sabalenka did not play terribly neither took the title. Rybakina dominated all the way to the finals while Sabalenka made it to the quarters. The reason Rybakina and Sabalenka did not dominate is because there were two fantastic disruptors at the 2023 Miami Open.

The first one was Sorana Cristea, the scrappy 32-year-old veteran who has found a new level of tennis late in her career. She has been working with former Grand Slam Champion Thomas Johansson since late 2022 and the results are finally starting to show. Cristea has always been a pretty decent professional, and she’s been around the tour for the better part of the last 15 years. However, going deep in big tournaments is not something she has been able to accomplish. Not anymore. She made the quarters at Indian Wells and now she followed it with a semifinal showing at the Miami Open.

Along the way, she took out Caroline Garcia (4) for the second straight week, and Sabalenka (2). Unfortunately for Sorana, she would run into Kvitova, the other veteran who would lift this trophy.

Let’s talk about Kvitova now. She lifted the most important tournament she has won in years. The last 1000 tournament she won was at the 2018 Madrid Open. That’s almost five years. This win brings the two-time Wimbledon champion back into the top 10 where she belongs.

The most impressive thing about Kvitova was the way she dismantled arguably the best player on the tour right now. Rybakina seemed to have no answers for the attacking tennis provided by Kvitova. Also, Kvitova was able to limit her unforced errors, something she seems to struggle with in big matches. The writing was on the wall for Kvitova though, at Indian Wells, she beat Jessica Pegula (3) who is also in great form. She was able to follow up that big win with an even bigger win over Rybakina.

We now go on to the clay court swing. Both Cristea and Kvitova will be looking to build on their recent success.

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