Emma Raducanu fell at the first hurdle in Miami as she lost her opening match to Bianca Andreescu. The British No 1 was coming in off the back of a strong run in Indian Wells but was no match for her fellow former US Open champion, losing 6-3 3-6 6-2.
Raducanu and Andreescu were facing off for the second time, with their first meeting ending in retirement for the Brit after she “couldn’t move”. Both women were coming off the back of defeats to world No 1 Iga Swiatek in Indian Wells – the Canadian making it to the third round while Raducanu had a career-best showing in the fourth round.
But it was Andreescu who started strong in Miami, breaking Raducanu in her first service game. The world No 72 continued to find herself on the back foot in the opening set as she was forced to save a break point at 1-4 and a set point at 2-5 down.
Raducanu held strong and forced the world No 31 to serve for the set herself, as she blew two set points at 5-3. Andreescu was able to take the third and went 6-3 up after 44 minutes – proving that her lead in Rome last year wasn’t just a fluke due to Raducanu’s injury.
The Canadian outdid Raducanu when it came to her winner count – hitting 12 to just three while the Brit racked up 15 unforced errors. It was Raducanu’s turn to have a break point early on in set two but she dumped a return into the net and the former world No 4 was able to hold for 1-1.
The Brit continued to pressure Andreescu at 4-3 in what turned into a lengthy 20-minute game where Andreescu was forced to save six break points before Raducanu finally converted her seventh of the game to serve for the set. And she closed it out 6-3 in 59 minutes to force a decider.
It was a scrappy third set, with both women forced to save three break points early on but it was the 22-year-old who drew first blood in the decider and broke to lead 4-2. And Andreescu didn’t drop another game afterwards, as some mistakes from Raducanu allowed her to break again and win a two-hour-and-33-minute battle 6-3 3-6 6-2.