Coco Vandeweghe and Samantha Crawford faced off against each other for the very first time in their careers. Crawford had to come through qualifying, where she defeated Mariana Duque-Mariño and young Brit Katie Swan to progress into the main draw in Miami. Vandeweghe came into the match off the back of a loss to Jelena Jankovic at Indian Wells.
Vandeweghe Gets The Decisive Break
Crawford served first in the set and got off to a positive start by winning the game. It nearly was a dream start for the 21-year-old as she worked herself a break point opportunity during Vandeweghe's service game. Unfortunately for Crawford, Vandeweghe fought off the break point before holding her service game, to prevent her opponent gaining an early advantage in the set.
In the very next game, Vandeweghe had her own chances to break her opponents serve. However, just like Crawford in the previous game, the 24-year-old could not take these chances, which allowed Crawford to eventually hold her serve. After a having to fight off break point in her previous service game, Vandeweghe would have been wanting to hold as easily as possible. The 24-year-old did just that as she held her serve to love.
The only break of the set came in the fifth game where Vandeweghe worked herself into a position where she had another two break point opportunities. This time around, Crawford gave herself too much to do, and despite saving one of the break points she could do nothing to stop Vandeweghe taking the other. Vandeweghe consolidated the break by holding her serve in the next game. Crawford did not allow Vandeweghe to do this easily as she worked herself into a position to break straight back, but yet again the 21-year old could not capitalize on the opportunity she had.
Crawford nearly found herself down a double break down, as she quickly went 40-15 down in the seventh game. The 21-year-old managed to fight off both of Vandeweghe's chances to extend her lead in the set. Crawford then found a way to win the game, and keep herself within touching distance of her opponent.
The next two service games, resulted in comfortable holds of serve for both players. This took the score to 5-4 and gave Vandeweghe the chance to serve the set out. Vandeweghe did not faulter as she took the set with her first set point opportunity.
Crawford Battles Hard, But Cannot Prevent Vandeweghe From Taking The Match
Crawford and Vandeweghe opened the second set with a pair of strong holds of service before the first break point opportunites came in the third game, and went in the direction of Vandeweghe. Vandeweghe raced to a 40-0 lead in the game and despite Crawford's best efforts the 24-year-old capitalized on her third break point chance to put herself in a commanding position in the match.
Vandeweghe consolidated the break of serve with a comfortable hold of serve. The 24-year old quickly found herself 40-0 up again on Crawford's service game. This time around though Crawford fought off all of the break point opportunities before eventually winning the game. This hold of service was a turning point in the set, and Crawford soon found herself back on level terms with Vandeweghe. The 21-year-old capitalized on her first break point opportunity to break Vandeweghe's serve and put the set back on serve.
There was not another break point opportunity until the eleventh game. Up until this point both Crawford and Vandeweghe held their service games with relative ease. Crawford found herself facing a break point in the eleventh game, and unfortunately for the 21-year-old, she could not prevent Vandeweghe from taking the chance.
By breaking Crawford's serve, Vandeweghe found herself in the position to serve for the match. The 24-year-old American did not let the pressure of this get to her, as she took the game, set and match on her very first opportunity.
After just under an hour and a half, Vandeweghe had won the battle of the Americans to progress into the second round of the tournament. The 24-year-old will face Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the next round.