Three To See—Andreescu-Sorribes Tormo, Medvedev-RBA in Miami grit-fest

Three To See—Andreescu-Sorribes Tormo, Medvedev-RBA in Miami grit-fest

Bianca Andreescu and Sara Sorribes Tormo know how to win a war. The same goes for Daniil Medvedev and Roberto Bautista Agut. These matchups, along with Naomi Osaka vs. Maria Sakkari, headline Wednesday at the Miami Open.

Before each day's play at the 2021 Miami Open, we'll preview three matches to look out for.


[8] Bianca Andreescu vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo

Fans have been treated to the Bibi of 2019, one we all can get behind. Looking fit as ever, the Canadian has put her boxing gloves on to win fierce three-set battles over Amanda Anisimova and Muguruza to reassert herself in a major way. “Even when I'm down I know I can find a way,” she said after her latest victory. “I keep proving that to myself, and it's really nice to get that under my belt.”

Someone else doing that a lot in 2021? Sorribes Tormo. In the first round, she prevailed from match point down for the second time this year when she erased a 1-5 deficit against Bernarda Pera. The Spaniard, who picked up her first WTA singles trophy two weeks ago in Guadalajara, has gone on to take four three-setters at Hard Rock Stadium by taking down seeds Jennifer Brady, Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur. Andreescu appreciates the fight as much as anybody, and she’ll certainly get one in an athlete delivering the best tennis of her career.

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[1] Daniil Medvedev vs. [7] Roberto Bautista Agut

“The match in Cincinnati physically was a disaster for me.”

That’s how Medvedev felt the last time he took on Bautista Agut, when his Western & Southern Open title defense ended against a more vigorous opponent. Coincidentally, the world No. 2 averted disaster here three days ago after overcoming a rough bout with cramps. He looked much sturdier on Tuesday, brushing aside Frances Tiafoe to give himself a chance at his first win over the Spaniard in three attempts.

Bautista Agut was on the cusp of going home, but saved a match point and avenged his quarterfinal defeat to John Isner here two years ago. The 32-year-old—looking to end a title drought that dates back to the start of the 2019 season when he triumphed in Doha—has been beyond the quarterfinals of an ATP Masters 1000 event three times in 56 main draws. Can he wear down Medvedev again?


[2] Naomi Osaka vs. [23] Maria Sakkari

Three of the pair’s four prior encounters have gone three sets. On this occasion, Naomi Osaka carries a 23-match win streak into her quarterfinal with the Greek. The four-time major champion is enjoying her best showing in Miami, her first event since claiming the Australian Open. “I have always noticed that I'm not the type of player that really needs that many tournaments to feel a groove,” the 23-year-old said after dismissing Elise Mertens, 6-3, 6-3, on Monday.

While Osaka has played just five events since last August’s restart (two ended in walkovers), Sakkari is contesting her eleventh. Outside of a disappointing first-round exit to Kristina Mladenovic in Melbourne, she’s been a consistent force, making the final eight or better in six of those appearances. With a critical day’s rest in the books following a 7-6 (6) deciding-set victory over an equally in-form Jessica Pegula, where she saved *six* match points, is Sakkari ready to add Osaka to a growing list of upsets over the past eight months that include Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina and Muguruza?