Camila Giorgi overcame 14 double faults and blew a 5-0 lead in the deciding set before defeating Kaia Kanepi in the first round of the Miami Open, 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 7-6(4). The marathon lasted three hours and 32 minutes and tied for the longest main-draw match of the WTA season.
The world No.44 Giorgi led 5-2 in the first set but couldn’t close it out. The world No.57 Kanepi then led 3-0 in the tiebreak, but double-faults ruined her chances in the 75-minute first set. In the second set, Giorgi was a break up when Kanepi battled back to force a decider then allowed her opponent to race to a 5-0 lead. But that’s when the match became even more dramatic.
Kanepi won five games in a row to level to 5-5, saving a match point at 5-3 and another one at 5-4. In the final tiebreak, Kanepi saved one more match point, but Giorgi ended the battle on her fourth match point.
Giorgi hit 11 aces and 14 double faults, while Kanepi recorded 19 aces and 7 double faults. Both players converted four out of ten break point opportunities and both won 135 points in this Miami opener that lasted as much as the other longest match of the 2023 season when Erika Andreeva defeated Harriet Dart last month in Austin.
In the second round, Giorgi will face three-time Miami Open champion and 14th seed Victoria Azarenka. Giorgi leads their head-to-head stats 2-1, but one of those wins was via retirement and Azarenka won their most recent encounter at 2019 Toronto in straight sets.