Alcaraz Dominates While Fritz, Ruud Advance, Zverev Upset; Medvedev Sat at Miami Masters

by Staff | March 24th, 2023, 11:12 pm
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Carlos Alcaraz opened his Miami Masters title defense with a dominating win over Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 6-0, 6-2. The 19-year-old Alcaraz lost just 4 points on first serve and broke serve six times in the match. He didn’t drop a point on serve in the first set while Bagnis won a total of seven points in the opening set.

“Well, it is different to be back here as a defending champion,” Alcaraz said of his biggest title defense to day. “Obviously, it is great to play here. I would say it is no different to play a first round here than last year. I would say the only difference is that I played in the center court and last year I was not there. It’s that difference only.

“I always say the same when I come into a tournament, for me, it is a new tournament. It’s day by day, round by round, try to play my best every day, try to enjoy every match as well. That’s the only goal and only thoughts on my mind in every match.

Alcaraz’s victim in the 2022 final Casper Ruud has struggled, but today for the 2-time Slam finalist knocked out Belarus’s Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 6-3. Ruud is now 5-5 on the season.

Ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz advanced past countryman and qualifier Emilio Nava 6-4, 6-1. No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev defeated the pesky 24-year-old J.J. Wolf 7-6(7-3), 6-4.

“I want to believe one match will turn it around but there are still a lot of matches to be played with a lot of good players left in the tournament,” Ruud said. “It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve played a match after taking an early loss in Indian Wells. I worked hard and came into Miami with great memories from last year.”

The 10th-seeded former finalist Jannik Sinner sent off (27y,54r) Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-2. But ) Japan’s Taro Daniel upset another former finalist, Alexander Zverev, with surprising ease 6-0, 6-4.

Elsewhere, No. 16 seed Tommy Paul edged Marc-Andrea Huesler 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. The 21st-seeded Grigor Dimitrov also came from a set down to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-4. No. 7 seed Holger Rune ousted Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 7-5

Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland upset 22nd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in straights 6-4, 7-6(7-5) and Dusan Lajovic surprised No. 30 Maxime Cressy 6-4, 7-6(7-2)/

Tomorrow’s slate includes second round play with No. 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas squaring off against Richard Gasquet. The two have split two collisions on tour with Gasquet winning in their last meeting in the all the way back at 2018 Den Bosch.

No. 4 Daniil Medvedev faces Roberto Carballes Baena, No. 5 Felix Auger-Aliassime will challenge Thiago Monteiro, No. 8 and former champion Hubert Hurkacz clashes with Thanasi Kokkinakis, No. 11 Cameron Norrie battles Gregoire Barrere and No. 12 Frances Tiafoe clashes with Yosuke Watanuki.

Also, No. 18 Lorenzo Musetti faces Jiri Lehecka, No. 19 Matteo Berrettini will challenge Mackenzie McDonald and No. 32 Ben Shelton will meet Adrian Mannarino.

Matches Start At: 12:00 noon
ATP Richard GASQUET (FRA) vs Stefanos TSITSIPAS (GRE) [2]
Not Before 1:00 PM
WTA Anastasia Potapova [27] vs Coco Gauff (USA) [6]
WTA Jessica Pegula (USA) [3] vs Danielle Collins (USA) [30]

Not Before 7:00 pm
Not Before 8:30 PM
WTA Elena Rybakina (KAZ) [10] vs Paula Badosa (ESP) [21]

Matches Start At: 11:00 am
WTA Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [24] vs Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) [13]
ATP Hubert HURKACZ (POL) [8] vs [LL] Thanasi KOKKINAKIS (AUS)
ATP [Q] Yosuke WATANUKI (JPN) vs Frances TIAFOE (USA) [12]
Not Before 7:00 PM
WTA Petra Martic (CRO) [29] vs Elise Mertens (BEL)

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Top story: Tsitsipas Streaks To 10 Straight On Clay, Gets Rematch With Ruud In Barcelona Final