Barbora Strycova set up a meeting with second seed Angelique Kerber after dishing out an emphatic defeat to Anna-Lena Friedsam on day one of the Miami Open.
Much of the attention so far this week has been on what the leading players in the women’s game have had to say over the equal pay debate, but the WTA Tour continued on Tuesday.
The likes of world number one Serena Williams, the defending Miami Open champion, and new Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka were given first-round byes and must wait to discover who their opponents will be in the second round.
But Australian Open champion Kerber can prepare to take on Strycova in the WTA Premier hard-court event after the Czech dumped out Friedsam, while Daria Kasatkina’s impressive start to the year continued with a win over Kateryna Bondarenko.
MORE MISERY FOR FRIEDSAM
Friedsam was beaten by Misaki Doi in the final of the inaugural San Antonio Open on Sunday and fell at the first hurdle in Miami two days later.
The German had no answer to the impressive Strycova, who eased to a 6-2 6-0 victory in just 57 minutes in a one-sided contest.
Strycova retired from her match against Simona Halep in the last 16 at Indian Well due to illness, but was clearly feeling much more like herself a week on and will be looking to take the scalp of Kerber in the second round.
KASATKINA HAS HALEP IN HER SIGHTS
Kasatkina’s stock continues to rise and Bondarenko felt the force of the 18-year-old Russian on day one of the tournament.
The teenager is up to 36th in the world after reaching the quarter-finals last week and showcased her talents in a 6-2 1-6 6-2 victory over Bondarenko.
Kasatkina, appearing at the Miami Open for the first time, will now face world number five Halep in the second round on Thursday.
Halep said of Kasatkina: “She’s great player for sure so it will be difficult, but I will watch matches with my coach and we will talk about how to play her.”
FLIPKENS IS ROBSON’S FOE ONCE AGAIN
Laura Robson has painful memories of facing Kirsten Flipkens, having spent two years on the sidelines due to injury after losing to the Belgian at the 2014 Australian Open.
The Brit was beaten by Magdalena Rybarikova at Indian Wells last week and was second best when she came up against Flipkens once again on Tuesday.
Robson, a junior champion at Wimbledon aged only 14 and former world number 27, lost 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 as she tries to find her feet after such a long lay-off.
HARSH LESSION FOR 16-YEAR-OLD ZHUK
Wimbledon junior champion Sofya Zhuk has been billed as one to watch after she won junior Wimbledon at the age of 15 last year, but the young Russian was brushed aside by Zhang Shuai on Tuesday.
Zhang brushed the 16-year-old aside with a 6-1 6-2 victory in just less than an hour as experienced prevailed over youth.
BOUCHARD THE HEADLINE ACT
Eugenie Bouchard takes to the court on Wednesday, with the Canadian star to face Lucie Hradecka after losing in third round at Indian Wells. Dominika Cibulkova – 2014 Australian Open finalist – also opens her campaign against Johanna Larsson.
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