Aryna Sabalenka, the world No. 2, displayed resilience and focus as she secured her place in the third round of the Miami Open with a composed 6-4, 6-3 victory over Paula Badosa in a match delayed by inclement weather. Facing a determined opponent in Badosa, Sabalenka encountered early resistance in the opening set. However, showcasing her trademark tenacity, she broke Badosa's serve to seize a crucial lead. Anhelina Kalinina Rallies To End Caroline Wozniacki’s Miami Open 2024 Early; Beatriz Haddad Maia Also Overcomes Slow Start.

In the first set, Badosa fought valiantly and demonstrated remarkable strength when serving to save two break points against Sabalenka, taking the lead 3-2. The Belarusian ultimately broke the Spaniard to take a 4-3 lead, but not before pulling off an incredible hold at 4-5 down to fend off two set points from Sabalenka.

After her fourth set point, the defending Australian champion went ahead 1-0 and asked the world No. 80 a lot of questions. Despite Badosa's valiant efforts to stay in the match, Sabalenka's dominance prevailed as she clinched the first set and maintained her momentum to secure victory in the second set.

With a victory over Paula Badosa, Sabalenka now has 25 WTA-1000 match wins since the start of 2023, becoming the fourth player to do so after Iga Swiatek (40), Elena Rybakina (34) and Coco Gauff (26). Sabalenka's triumph sets up an intriguing third-round encounter against Anhelina Kalinina, as the Belarusian star continues her quest for glory amidst personal adversity.

Meanwhile, on another court, Coco Gauff, the world No. 3, showcased her prowess with a commanding performance against Nadia Podoroska. Gauff's relentless aggression and precision propelled her to a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory. After just 33 minutes of play, Gauff quickly gained the early advantage in the match, leading one set to none. After swatting away two Gauff set points, the Argentine mounted some resistance in the seventh game and won her first break point.

To Podorska's credit, she miraculously managed to squander four Gauff match points in her eighth and final game, making it anything but a formality. But in the end, she gave way to the inevitable, as Gauff won the fifth game to wrap up a mostly commanding victory. Gauff's clinical display on the court reflects her growing maturity and confidence, as she now looks ahead to a third-round clash against Oceane Dodin. Miami Open 2024: Andy Murray Triumphs Over Ailing Matteo Berrettini in a Grueling Battle.

Despite the challenges posed by adverse weather conditions and formidable opponents, both Sabalenka and Gauff demonstrated their mettle and determination, setting the stage for thrilling encounters in the subsequent rounds of the Miami Open.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 23, 2024 03:47 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website