Greek needs 3 sets against qualifier Garin, while American defeats Linette
by Daniel Perisse
Miami Gardens, FL (March 27, 2023) – It took a while for Stefanos Tsitsipas to play his opening match at the 2023 Miami Open presented by Itaú. After a week off due to a first-round bye and a victory by walkover in the second round, the Greek finally hit the court this Monday, defeating Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Amongst the concern with a shoulder injury that made him withdraw from Acapulco, an exit in Indian Wells in the opening round, and a week-long wait after arriving in Miami, the Greek seemed to have forgotten all the pain-related concerns about his debut at the Hard Rock Stadium.
“I was waiting a very long time to get out and play. It has almost felt like a vacation this past week staying in Miami. I’m glad I got started. It was a difficult match against an opponent who has played good tennis against good opponents in the past,” exclaimed Tsitsipas, who won in 2 hours and four minutes.
Next up for the World No. 3 is Karen Khachanov. The No. 14 seed needed 1 hour and 26 minutes to halt Czech Kiri Lehecka 6-2, 6-4. Their last match was at this year’s Australian Open semifinal, and the Greek won – he leads 6-0 the overall head-to-head.
On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev did not even have to enter the court, as he advanced to the fourth round due to the withdrawal of Slovakia’s Alex Molcan, with a right hip injury.
The World No. 5’s next opponent will be World No. 79 Quentin Halys from France, who defeated Piedmont, Calif. native Mackenzie McDonald, currently at No. 55 of the ATP Ranking, 7-6(2), 6-3, in 1 hour and 41 minutes. Before the 2023 Miami Open, the Frenchman had not won a singles Masters 1000 main-draw match.
On Grandstand, Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo downed Felix Auger-Aliassime, the No. 5 seed, 6-2, 7-5, and is now within two wins from repeating the semifinal played last year here.
“I am super happy to get another top-10 win, another important win for me. I think I played well from the beginning to the end. It’s super nice to play here; there are many Argentinian and Latin people. I enjoy it here. I’m happy to play well here again. Last year was amazing, so I’m excited to be in the fourth round again and try to keep winning”, said the No. 25 seed and World No. 31.
These players met two weeks ago in a third-round fixture at Indian Wells, and the Canadian won 7-5, 6-4. Today was payback time for Cerundolo, who reached the semifinal here last year.
The Argentinian now challenges Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, World No. 59. He denied Orlando, Fla. resident Frances Tiafoe, the No. 12 seed, from advancing with a 6-3, 6-4 win in 1 hour and 13 minutes. This will be the first ATP Tour-level match between them.
On the other hand, 2021 Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz took his way home after being defeated by France’s Adrian Mannarino in two tie-breaks, 7-6(5), 7-6(0).
His next opponent will be Atlanta native Christopher Eubanks, World No. 119, who continued his dream run today, defeating another Frenchman, Gregoire Barrere, 6-3, 7-6(7). During the tie-break of the second set, played after a 90-minute rain delay, the American was down 6-2 and came back to clinch his first Masters 1000 fourth-round match.
“It feels good. For the past weeks, I was thinking about the top 100 and then came to some losses I shouldn’t have. I was second-guessing a lot about my game. This week I said I was going to delete all that and focus on playing each match. Wow, it feels good,” said a very emotional Eubanks talking to the press after his match.
On the women’s side, Jessica Pegula is on a roll: The Buffalo, N.Y. native prevailed over Poland’s Magda Linette, 6-1, 7-5. This is the fifth time she reaches the quarterfinals in 2023 and her fifth win over a top 20 player this season.
Pegula was 5-2 down on the third set but was able to win five games in a row and clinch the victory.
The No. 3 seed’s quarterfinal opponent will be Anastasia Potapova. The No. 27 seed ousted No. 6 Coco Gauff in the third round and from knocking off another player better ranked than her: World No. 23 Qinwen Zheng, who lost 6-4, 7-6(4).
“So, it’s going to be tough. Yeah, like I said, we just played each other so we’ll be familiar with each other’s games very quickly,” said Pegula, who defeated Potapova two weeks ago in a third-round match in Indian Wells 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
On Grandstand, Italy’s Martina Trevisan, the No.25 seed, clinched a spot in a WTA-1000 tournament quarterfinal for the first time in her career after beating Jelena Ostapenko, the No. 24 seed, 6-3, 6-3 in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The Italian reached the Roland Garros semifinal last year and is up against Elena Rybakina, the No. 10 seed, in the quarterfinals. The 2023 Indian Wells champion ousted Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3 to win her 11th straight match.
On the bottom of the draw, unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea has reached back-to-back quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Miami. The 32-year-old has beaten Czech Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(3), 6-4, and now challenges Aryna Sabalenka, World No. 2.
Sabalenka defeated Czech Barbora Krejcikova, the No. 16 seed, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour and six minutes.
“I’m super happy with my level today, it’s always tough against Barbora. I think the key today was my serve, I just put so much pressure on her. I could play free, go for the lines, hit the ball a little bit harder,” explained Sabalenka, who has practiced with Cirstea during her pre-season in Dubai.
“She is playing great tennis, serving well. I think it is going to be great.”
No. 15 Petra Kvitova needed almost two hours to prevail over qualifier Varvara Gracheva, 7-5, 7-6(5), and now challenges Ekaterina Alexandrova, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a win by retirement from Bianca Andreescu due to a left ankle injury at 7-6(0), 0-2. The Canadian left the court in a wheelchair.
You can follow all the results and the men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws here.
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