While most players in the Sony Open were sleeping early Sunday morning, American CoCo Vandeweghe booked a spot in the fourth round with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 win over Samantha Stosur that ended at 2:29 a.m. It was the latest finish at Key Biscayne in recent memory — maybe ever (records aren’t kept).
Her prize for the after-hours win? A Monday match against top-ranked Serena Williams, the six-time tournament champion.
The match between Stosur and Vandeweghe began just before midnight on Stadium Court on Saturday, and it turned into a marathon. Between 75 and 100 diehard fans waited it out and watched until the end. Vandeweghe is ranked No. 104 and had to get through the qualifying rounds to earn a spot in the main draw, so she has already won five matches in the past week.
She had never advanced past the first round at this tournament. Vandeweghe and Williams have met twice, with Williams winning both times.
One of their matchups was in Vandeweghe’s first WTA final at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. Williams won 7-5, 6-3.
Vandeweghe, 22, lives in Newport Beach, Calif., and is the niece of former NBA player Kiki Vandeweghe.
Del Potro surgery
Argentine media is reporting that former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro will have his second wrist surgery in four years on Monday and will likely miss the rest of the season. Del Potro pulled out of the Sony Open because of continued pain in his left wrist, which he will have operated by American surgeon Richard Berger. He had his right wrist operated on in May 2010.
The 25-year-old has dropped from No. 4 to No. 8 in the world rankings.
Many tennis players are rabid soccer fans, and there has been much talk this week about the upcoming World Cup and the most recent edition of El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, a drama-filled match that Barca won 4-3 on Sunday with a Lionel Messi hat trick.
Rafael Nadal is a huge Real Madrid fan and was planning to watch Sunday. He predicted early in the week that it would be a tight match, but he thought Real Madrid had the slight edge.
Roger Federer was asked his views on the Swiss World Cup team.
“They’re happy, first of all, to be qualified for the World Cup,” he said. “It’s always big for us, any nation who makes the World Cup. I think the group is doable. But I feel like everybody can beat everybody, so it’s going to be very interesting. I think we have a great coach, whom I know personally, and I know some of the players.
“Seems we have a good, young dynamic team which has also got the key experienced player, which you need for the World Cup. I hope that mix is going to be successful for us.”
Andy Murray, meanwhile, has Belgium as an outside World Cup contender.
“The players obviously talk about the World Cup a lot, a lot of the players love football,” he said. “I’m sure as it gets a bit closer we will discuss it even more.
“About 18 months ago, I told Juan Monaco that Belgium was my outsider for the tournament and he laughed at me [smiling]. Yeah, they are doing pretty well now. They’ve got a good group.”