UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
The 2023 Miami Open kicks off this week, with hundreds of players around the world setting their sights on the title. This will be the second ATP 1000 event of the year, and the third 1000 event on the women’s side. Interestingly, some players were seeded ahead of this tournament; others qualified automatically, while even more players will have to go through the qualifying rounds. In this article, we’ll talk about the players who made it to the main draw as wild cards, and we’ll keep you updated on their performances.
ATP Miami Open Wild Cards
Ahead of the 2023 Miami Open, the highest-rated wild card on the men’s side is former US Open champion Dominic Thiem. it’s worth noting that the Austrian’s best performance in this tournament was a quarter-final berth in 2015, where he lost out to eventual finalist Andy Murray. However, things have not gone too well for the former World number 3 recently; he has played nine singles matches in 2023, and lost eight of them. As a matter of fact, the 29 year old is coming into this competition on the back of four consecutive losses.
Another player worth keeping an eye out for is Taro Daniel. The Japanese player impressed at this year’s Indian Wells event, reaching the round of 32 despite being a qualifier. It’ll be interesting to see how far he can go in this tournament.
Juncheng Shang received a wild card into this tournament for the second consecutive year. Unfortunately, he didn’t do too well the last time; as he crashed out of the first round at the hands of Denis Kudla. To be fair, he was 17 at the time, so perhaps he’ll go further this time. Other players who received wild cards on the men’s side are Zizou Bergs and Emilio Nava.
WTA Miami Open Wild Cards
Interestingly, the highest-rated wild card on the women’s side is another former US Open champion, Emma Raducanu. The Brit put up her best performance so far this year at the Indian Wells Open, reaching the round of 16. Unfortunately, Raducanu hasn’t had much success since she won the US Open two years ago. She hasn’t won a title, or reached a final since then, with her best performance being a semi-final appearance at Seoul last year.
Another exciting player to keep an eye out for is Brenda Fruhvirtova. It’s important to point out that the Czech player is just 15 years old, although she turns 16 towards the end of this tournament. Interestingly, Fruhvirtova is coming off an ITF title at Bengaluru; and prior to that, she made it through three qualifying rounds of the Australian Open, reaching the main draw. Moreover, Brenda’s sister, Linda Fruhvirtova received a wildcard in this tournament last year, reaching the fourth round. We expect great things from the exciting youngster in the future, and it’ll be interesting to see how far she’ll go in this competition.
There are a few other wild cards on the women’s side, and these are Erika Andreeva, Ashlyn Krüger, Robin Montgomery, Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva, Alexandra Eala and Hailey Baptiste.
How Have the Wild Cards Fared So Far?
It’s important to point out that there are some players who received wild cards into the qualifying rounds of this tournament, on the men and women’s side; and a couple of those players made it through to the main draw.
Katherine Sebov won both qualifying matches, setting up a first round clash with last year’s wild card Linda Fruhvirtova. Despite being a huge underdog, the Canadian managed to beat Fruhvirtova in three sets. Likewise, Storm Hunter defeated Kimberly Birrell and Kaja Juvan in the qualifying rounds; she’ll take on former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the first round on day 2. Another wild card who made it to the maind draw is Fernanda Contreras Gómez, who will face Sorana Cirstea on Wednesday.
On the men’s side, Benoit Paire reached the main draw after beating Gijs Brouwer and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the qualifying rounds. Yosuke Watanuki will be his first round opponent. Interestingly, the French player was the underdog in both qualifying rounds, including his upcoming first round match. Another player worth mentioning is Alexander Blockx, who won the Australian Open Juniors title this year. Unfortunately, the Belgian couldn’t make it past the qualifying rounds.
Things didn’t turn out so well for most of our wild cards on Day 1. Four of our main draw wild cards featured on Tuesday, and they all lost. Brenda Fruhvirtova suffered a straight sets loss at the hands of Xiyu Wang, Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva lost to Anna Kalinskaya in straight sets too. In like manner, Viktorija Golubic defeated Hailey Baptiste in two sets, while 17 year old Alexandra Eala crashed out in straight sets at the hands of Irina-Camelia Begu.
Unlike the previous day, some of our wild cards put up some good performances on Day 2. Emilio Nava faced former Miami Open champion John Isner in the second round, defeating him in two tie-breaks. In like manner, Taro Daniel advanced to the second round ahead of Arthur Rinderknech, after the French player was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
On the women’s side, Robin Montgomery surrendered the first set to Ana Bogdan, but had to claw her way back into the match, ultimately winning in three sets. Interestingly, two of our wild cards clashed with each other on Wednesday; as Erika Andreeva and Ashlyn Krüger faced off at the Butch Bucholz. Despite her best efforts, Krüger suffered a straight sets loss to Andreeva.
Finally, Emma Raducanu and Bianca Vanessa Andreescu squared off against each other in a battle of two former US Open champions. Although Raducanu held her own against Andreescu, she eventually fell to the Canadian in three sets.
On Thursday, Zizou Bergs clashed with Thanasi Kokkinakis. He held his own against the Australian, winning the first set. However, Bergs eventually lost in three sets, despite being a break up in the deciding set. We mentioned that Juncheng Shang received a wild card here last year, but lost in the first round. Interestingly, the Chinese player suffered the same fate today, as he exited in three sets at the hands of Adrian Mannarino.
Just like the women’s side, things didn’t go too well for the men’s top-rated wild card in the first round, as Dominic Thiem crashed out of the Miami Open on Thursday, at the hands of Lorenzo Sonego. Also, Katherine Sebov, who made it to the tournament through the qualifying rounds, went up against World number 3 Jessica Pegula on Thursday; and despite her best efforts, she exited this tournament in two sets.
In an interesting turn of events, Taro Daniel went up against Alexander Zverev on Friday night. Despite being a huge underdog, the Japanese player was able to defeat Zverev in straight sets. He broke the former World number 2 four times whilst facing no break points en route to a 6-0, 6-4 victory. Daniel will meet Emil Ruusuvuori in the third round of this tournament.
After her victory over fellow wild card Ashlyn Krüger in the opening round, Erika Andreeva took on Magdalena Frech in the round of 64. Andreeva started strong against her opponent, taking the first set. However, her intensity levels dropped significantly, as she surrendered the next two sets whilst winning just two games.
Like Andreeva, two other wild cards did not have a great day on Friday. Robin Montgomery squared up against former US Open finalist Madison Keys; and although she held her own, winning eight games, she ultimately lost to Keys in straight sets. Likewise, after defeating John Isner in the first round, Emilio Nava took on another compatriot in Taylor Fritz. This clash did end well for Nava, as he suffered a 6-4, 6-1 loss at the hands of the former World number 5.
Heading into day 6, there was only one wild card left in the Miami Open. 23 of 24 wild cards couldn’t make it through to the third round, except for Taro Daniel. The Japanese player has beaten Alexander Zverev and Arthur Rinderknech in the first two rounds, setting up a third round encounter with Emil Ruusuvuori. Things didn’t go too well for Daniel however, as he lost in straight sets, officially ending the chapter for all the wild cards in this competition.
Miami Open Wild Cards – Previous Tournaments
Over the years, this tournament has had different names; from the Lipton Championships to the NASDAQ-100 Open to the Sony Ericsson Open. Since its inception in 1985, no wildcard has ever won this title, or advanced to the final. However, a couple of players made it as far as the semi-finals, with one player achieving this feat twice.
To be fair, wild cards on the men’s side have not been very successful in recent years. Besides Nick Kyrgios, who reached the fourth round as wild card last year, no other wild card made it past the third round since Mario Ancic did so in 2008. Interestingly, the best performance by a wild card in this event came in 1986 and 1987, when former World number 1 Jimmy Connors reached back-to-back semi-finals, both as a wildcard.
Furthermore, four other wild cards made it through to the quarter-finals. Robby Ginepri did so in 2003, Andy Roddick in 2001, Mats Wilander in 1995, and Stefan Edberg in 1994.
Unlike the men’s side, a few wild cards on the women’s side have had some success in recent years; most notably Daria Saville, who advanced to the quarter-final last year. Like the men’s side, a wild card reached the semi-final on two occasions. Victoria Azarenka did so in 2018, while Justine Henin got to the semi-final in 2010. Honourable mentions include Venus Williams and Ginger Helgeson, who reached the quarter-finals in 2012 and 1991 respectively.
Frequently Asked Questions about Miami Open Wild Cards 2023
- Has a wild card ever won this tournament? No, the furthest a wild card has ever reached is the semi-finals, this has happened on a few occasions.
- How many players received wild cards into the 2023 Miami Open? There are 13 main draw wild cards, and 11 in the qualifying rounds.
- Who are the top wild cards in this competition? Two former US Open champions, Dominic Thiem and Emma Raducanu are the top seeded wild cards in this year’s Miami Open.