MIAMI, Fla. – From the looks of things on Wednesday, you would probably want world No. 1 Simona Halep as your permanent practice partner.
Because during her time on court with Svetlana Kuznetsova, feeding volleys and overheads, she just didn’t miss.
When that happens, you get some pretty good cardio on the other side in addition to honing your strokes.
Kuznetsova (no slouch herself), followed up the long volley exchanges (one of which is seen below) straight to the overheads. She got her workout.
Halep, after a first-round bye, opens her Miami Open campaign against lucky loser Océane Dodin.
Dodin, who has been dealing with vertigo for more than a year, has been in and out of the scene. She lost in the first round of the Australian Open to Genie Bouchard.
The luckiest loser
Dodin was the No. 7 seed in qualifying. The top three seeds made it through, and seeds No. 4 through No. 6 lost in the first round.
But whether she knew for sure sure she was getting into the main draw as a lucky loser, the Frenchwoman retired after the first set of her second and final round of qualifying to American Alison Riske Tuesday. The reason was an ankle injury. She lost that set 6-1.
Then – a miraculous recovery.
Dodin managed to defeat Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 Wednesday in the first round of the main draw – two hours and 12 minutes, it took – to advance to the meeting with Halep.
(You really shouldn’t retire in the qualifying and then be allowed to play in the main draw. But that’s a debate for another day).
As for Kuznetsova, the 32-year-old Russian only began her 2018 season last week at Indian Wells after left wrist surgery in the offseason. She lost her first match there to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Seeded No. 18 in Miami, her first opponent will be Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.