Rain delays Serena Williams, sets stage for busy Saturday in Miami

World number one Serena Williams` quest for an eighth Miami crown was temporarily put on hold Friday as rain washed out night matches at the combined WTA and ATP Masters tournament.

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 28, 2015, 09:22 AM IST
Rain delays Serena Williams, sets stage for busy Saturday in Miami

Miami: World number one Serena Williams` quest for an eighth Miami crown was temporarily put on hold Friday as rain washed out night matches at the combined WTA and ATP Masters tournament.

Stormy weather moved into the Miami area shortly after men`s second seed Rafael Nadal won his match over fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-2.

Organizers had hoped to wait it out, but finally suspended play for the day, setting the stage for a busy Saturday.

Williams, who was to test a knee injury which forced her forfeit a quarter-final a week ago in Indian Wells against eventual champion Simona Halep, will open her campaign against Romanian Monica Niculescu -- the same player Williams struggled to beat in the second round in the California desert.

Others caught out by the weather included Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, was is returning after months away with an arm injury.

The unseeded Tsonga`s match against American Tim Smyczek, who gave Nadal a brief scare early at the Australian Open, was also postponed.

Canada`s 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard will play German qualifier Tatjana Maria a day late after their match never got on court.

Williams, Tsonga and Bouchard join a bevy of marquee names already scheduled to play on Saturday.

Defending men`s champion and world number one Novak Djokovic will open his bid for a second straight Masters crown. He captured the Indian Wells title on Sunday with a win over Roger Federer, who is not playing in Miami.

Women in action include fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, number seven Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams, seeded 16th and taking on former US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia.