Serena Williams isn't the only woman 'unseeded' after maternity leave

Serena Williams launched the construction of the new Miami Open venue at Hard Rock Stadium on Monday, the location that will host future editions of the tournament from 2019 onwards, with eight-time champion Williams declaring her ambition to help create "the best tournament ever".

Serena Williams will play Naomi Osaka at 2pm GMT on Wednesday in the Miami Open. Despite having won two matches, the rust of a 14-month hiatus was yet to wear off. Venus made fewer unforced errors, 19 to 41, and won her first match against Serena since 2014.

Both players were tentative in the early stages as the opening six games were shared before the 20-year-old took the initiative with back-to-back breaks to secure the first set.

Katie Boulter was unable to build upon her impressive run through the qualifying rounds as the British No 5 fell to the experienced Su-Wei Hsieh from Taipei.

The British No 1 has won only eight matches since her run to the Wimbledon semi-finals a year ago but will hope the positive memories from her title-winning run can bring about a strong defence.

"It's not as if she left because of injury or lost her passion for the game". Osaka had the stronger serve and worn Williams down in rallies working her from side to side. The tournament has been held since 1987 on Key Biscayne, but an appeals court decision prevented upgrades to the complex there, and the Miami Open will move to the Dolphins' stadium next year. Despite making her first Slam quarterfinal away from the French Open in Melbourne and winning the title in Brisbane, like Muguruza her form has been patchy.

"Our current rule does not allow a player who uses her Special Ranking for entry into a tournament to be seeded, whether absent for injury/illness or for pregnancy".

Azarenka and Keys are in the same section as top seed Simona Halep, who will open her campaign against lucky loser Oceane Dodin, who beat Veronica Cepede Royg 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3. The Briton won the biggest title of her career in Florida last season during a purple patch that also saw her reach the last four at Wimbledon, her home Slam. But, on this night against Venus she didn't quite play like the best player in the world.

She added: "For entertainment reasons, it's very important to have Serena Williams in the draw, but I don't think it's important to have her in the seeding positions at the moment". She has continued to progress since then and is now ranked world #45.

WTA tournaments have been unpredictable affairs of late. And as Osaka and Kasatkina showed in Indian Wells, there is no shortage of young and fearless talent. "It's a great way to kick off our previous year on Key Biscayne". She has the talent, the history and the confidence to go all the way in the Sunshine State. I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip, ' she remembers telling the team.


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