By Daniel Perissé
Four Americans have reached the 2021 Miami Open presented by Itaú Men’s Singles main draw. Mackenzie McDonald, Ernesto Escobedo, Bjorn Fratangelo and Emilio Nava won their second-round qualifying matches this Tuesday, March 23rd, and will join other countrymen in the quest for the title at Hard Rock Stadium.
Seeded number one in the qualifying draw, McDonald needed over an hour to beat veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6(3), 6-4. The 42-year-old Croatian had 18 aces, but had his serve broken in the first game of the second set and could not keep up with the American.
Fratangelo cruised past Switzerland’s Marc-Andreas Huesler 6-0, 6-1, while Escobedo defeated countryman Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 7-6(4).
But 19-year-old wild card Nava was responsible for the biggest upset of the day. Ranked as World No. 556, he beat Argentina’s Renzo Olivo 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-4 and will have his first ATP-Tour level main draw experience in a Masters 1000 tournament.
Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and veteran Italian Paolo Lorenzi are among the players that also qualified for the main draw.
In the women’s qualifying, 19-year-old Hailey Baptiste had another great result by defeating Belgium’s Greet Minnen 6-4, 6-4. In the first round, she had already beaten Misaki Doi, number one seed. She is the only American that earned a spot in the main draw, as veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost to Serbian Nina Stojanovic 6-4, 6-3.
Other players to advance were Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria), Spaniard Aliona Bolsova, Oceane Dodin, from France, Liudmila Samsonova (Russia), Olga Danilovic (Serbia), Czech Tereza Martincova, Kristina Kucova, from Slovakia, Renata Zarazua (Mexico), Italian Elisabeta Cocciaretto and Mihaela Buzarnescu, from Romania.
The Women’s Singles main draw continues this Wednesday, March 24th, at Hard Rock Stadium, first day of Men’s Singles play. Day session starts at 11:00am, and the night session at 7:00pm.