MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Camila Giorgi hit 14 double-faults, blew a 5-0 lead in the final set and needed four match points before finally pulling out a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4) victory against Kaia Kanepi in the first round of the Miami Open on Tuesday.
The match lasted 3 hours, 32 minutes, tying for the longest on the WTA Tour this season. The players combined for 30 aces — 19 by Kanepi, who also had seven double-faults.
In the third set, Kanepi was not moving well, and Giorgi raced to a big edge. But after dropping just two of her initial 15 service games, the Italian got broken twice in a row while serving for the victory at 5-1 and 5-3 in the third set.
Kanepi saved one match point at 5-3, another at 5-4 and another in the concluding tiebreaker. Giorgi finally ended things on her next chance with a cross-court forehand winner. She’ll next face 14th-seeded Victoria Azarenka, a three-time champion in Miami and two-time winner at the Australian Open.
All seeded players at the hard-court tournament received first-round byes. Women’s matches in the main draw began Tuesday; the men start Wednesday.
It was a rough afternoon for the Czech teenage sisters Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtova. First Brenda, who turns 16 on April 2, lost the initial nine games of a 6-0, 7-5 loss to Wang Xiyu. And then Linda, 17, exited with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 loss against qualifier Katherine Sebov, who now meets No. 3 Jessica Pegula.
In other action, Rebecca Marino eliminated Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (4), 6-2 to set up a second-round match against 2022 French Open runner-up Coco Gauff; Irina-Camelia Begu trailed 2-0 in the first set and then 5-1 in the second before coming back in both to beat wild-card entry Alexandra Eala 6-2, 7-5; and Marta Kostyuk was a 6-3, 6-2 winner against Elisabetta Cocciaretto.
Claire Liu, an American who is ranked 59th, advanced to a second-round meeting against defending champion and No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek when Katerina Siniakova stopped playing in the second set Tuesday because of an injured wrist.