Florida (USA), Mar 22 (IANS): Camila Giorgi overcame Kaia Kanepi in the Miami Open 2023 first round in 3 hours and 32 minutes, tying for the longest main-draw match of the WTA season.
Last month in Austin, Erika Andreeva defeated Harriet Dart in the same time.
Giorgi had chances to make this match shorter. She led 5-0 in the third set and held one match point at both 5-3 and 5-4. But Kanepi methodically pulled her way back into contention, sweeping five games in a row to level the affair at 5-5 in the third on Tuesday.
In the third-set tiebreak, Giorgi fired a forehand winner to grab the first mini-break at 4-2. Giorgi never relinquished that advantage, closing out the victory on her fourth match point with another forehand winner.
Kanepi slammed 19 aces in defeat while Giorgi had 11 aces of her own. The pair had identical 4-for-10 break point conversion rates and each player won exactly 135 points.
Giorgi will now take on three-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka in a second-round meeting. Giorgi won their first two meetings (one via retirement) but Azarenka won their third and most recent at 2019 Toronto.
In another game, Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov grabbed her first career main-draw victory at a WTA 1000 event by topping 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in just over two hours.
By beating World No.50 Fruhvirtova, 24-year-old Sebov also notched her first win over a Top 50 player in her career. World No.172 Sebov had lost her three prior meetings against Top 50 opposition.
Sebov will now take on a Top 10 player for the second time in her career when she faces No.3 Jessica Pegula in the second round. Sebov played No.4 Caroline Garcia in the first round of the Australian Open this year, which was her Grand Slam main-draw debut.