Tennis News Round-up - March 2023
By Ed C
Updated 31st March 2023
March witnessed captivating storylines unfold on the American hard courts during the Sunshine Double of Indian Wells and Miami.
The Californian ATP 1000 event showcased high-quality tennis despite the absence of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a surprising defeat in his opening match against Jordan Thompson, citing injury as a factor. Frances Tiafoe took advantage of an open draw section, impressively reaching his first-ever 1000-level semifinal by defeating Cameron Norrie. Daniil Medvedev, despite complaining about the slow conditions, maintained his good form, recovering from a concerning ankle injury to defeat an in-form Alex Zverev. Medvedev then overcame Tiafoe to secure a spot in the final. Jannik Sinner continued his impressive start to the season, eliminating defending champion Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals. However, Carlos Alcaraz proved unstoppable, not dropping a set against formidable opponents such as Felix Auger-Aliassime, Sinner, and Medvedev, ultimately claiming the Indian Wells title for the first time and reclaiming the world number 1 spot.
In the women's event, fourth seed Ons Jabeur suffered her second defeat of the year at the hands of Marketa Vondrousova in the third round. Caroline Garcia was knocked out by Sorana Cirstea in the fourth round. Iga Swiatek, the defending champion, was unable to defend her title as she withdrew from the tournament prior to its start. Elena Rybakina showcased her dominance, defeating Swiatek in the semifinals. Aryna Sabalenka secured comfortable wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals against Coco Gauff and Maria Sakkari. In a closely contested final, Rybakina avenged her loss in the Australian Open final, narrowly edging out Sabalenka to clinch her first 1000-level title.
The same trio who impressed in Indian Wells - Alcaraz, Medvedev, and Sinner - continued to shine in Miami. Karen Khachanov joined them in the semifinals after defeating Tsitsipas and Francisco Cerundolo in thrilling matches. Alcaraz and Sinner engaged in an epic three-hour battle, with Sinner emerging victorious, avenging his Indian Wells defeat. Medvedev defeated compatriot Khachanov in a hard-fought three-set encounter and then overcame Sinner to claim his maiden Miami title. Medvedev's remarkable performance elevated him to the top of the Race to Turin and solidified his position as the world number 4. Alcaraz, unable to defend his Miami title, briefly regained and subsequently relinquished the world number 1 ranking, which returned to Djokovic.
In the women's event, Iga Swiatek's withdrawal before the tournament dashed her hopes of replicating her Sunshine Double triumph from the previous year. Jessica Pegula enjoyed a strong run, notably winning a third-set tiebreak against Anastasia Potapova in the quarterfinals to secure a spot in the semifinals. She faced Rybakina, who emerged victorious in straight sets, reaching back-to-back finals. On the other side of the draw, Cirstea's good form continued as she produced a stunning upset over Sabalenka in the quarterfinals. She then encountered the dangerous Petra Kvitova, who ultimately triumphed, setting up a final clash with Rybakina. Kvitova clinched the Miami title, her first 1000-level title since 2018, winning a thrilling first-set tiebreak 14-12 before claiming the second set 6-
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