Singles players, including Alcaraz and Medvedev, fight for quarterfinal spots
by Daniel Perisse
Miami Gardens, FL (March 27, 2023) – In times of March Madness, Tuesday is the day in which the 2023 Miami Open, presented by Itaú’s Sweet 16, will take over the courts at Hard Rock Stadium: all eight men’s singles fourth-round matches will be played tomorrow to determine the quarterfinalists.
One day after confirming the last eight players in the women’s draw, it’s time to know who still stands a chance among the ATP players. The first match of the day will be at 11 a.m. on Grandstand, featuring Italy’s Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev.
The Italian is on the rise with an 18-4 season record and has won 14 of the last 16 matches. He comes from reaching the semifinals in Indian Wells, having lost to Carlos Alcaraz.
On his turn, Rublev comes from reaching the fourth round in California and hopes to repeat at least his 2021 run here in Miami when he reached the semifinals.
This will be their fifth match – the overall head-to-head shows a 2-2 tie. Rublev, the World No. 7, won the last time they met, in 2022 in Roland Garros, by retirement when the score was 1-6, 6-4, 2-0.
Stadium play starts at noon with America’s No. 1 player Taylor Fritz taking on Denmark’s Holger Rune, the No. 7 seed. The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. native has never played against the 19-year-old Danish.
“It’s going to be a tough match, I think. Playing Holger is a very tough draw. I’m excited to play him. We’ve never played before. I’m not entirely, I guess, sure what to make of his game. He’s very good. I guess we’ll see. I guess we’ll see when we play,” said the No. 9 seed.
Rune comes from a spectacular 2022, during which he won his three first ATP trophies (Munich, Stockholm, and the Paris Masters 1000) and reached the top 10 for the first time.
Back to Grandstand, Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp wants to continue his dream run in Miami against Emil Ruusuvuori from Finland. The Dutch comes from knocking out World No. 4 Casper Ruud, the first top 5 win of his career.
The Finnish and the Dutch, the No. 28 seed here, have split victories in two matches during the 2022 season, both on grass.
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will also be back on the court tomorrow, now having American Tommy Paul as his challenger in the third match of the Stadium slate.
Currently ranked as No. 19 in the World, the Voorhees, N. J. native has a 1-0 head-to-head lead against the Spaniard, having won in the Canada Masters 1000 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7), 6-3.
“Great match ahead. I lost the first and only match that I played against Tommy. I know that he’s a really talented and really tough player, so I have to play at my best. Let’s see what’s going to happen,” said the World No. 1, who is 16-1 so far this season.
Not before 2:30 p.m. on Grandstand, Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to keep his clean sheet against Karen Khachanov. The Greek has won the previous six meetings against the rival, and the last one was at this year’s Australian Open semifinal – Khachanov’s best result so far in 2023.
The Greek did not play for the first week of the Miami Open because of a first-round bye and a win by walkover against Richard Gasquet in the second round. This Monday, he defeated Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, in his opening match – only the third during March.
Tsitsipas did not play in Acapulco due to a shoulder injury and was ousted by Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the second round in Indian Wells.
Closing the Stadium slate, not before 8 p.m., Daniil Medvedev takes on France’s Quentin Halys. While the World No. 5 did not even need to step on the court to advance to the fourth round due to a withdrawal from Slovakia’s Alex Molcan with a right hip injury, the French player has reached this stage at a Masters 1000 for the first time in his career.
Halys, who had not won a main-draw match at this level until this tournament started, comes from beating Piedmont, Calif. native Mackenzie McDonald, currently at No. 55 of the ATP Ranking, by 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Also on Grandstand, World No. 119 Christopher Eubanks plays his first Masters-1000 fourth-round match against France’s Adrian Mannarino. The Atlanta native played college tennis at Georgia Tech from 2015-2017 and is a former two-time All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year.
Eubanks comes from defeating another Frenchman, Gregoire Barrere, 6-3, 7-6 (7) in a match that had been stopped for 90 minutes due to rain. With today’s result, he will be in the top 100 on Monday for the first time in his career.
“I know it sounds funny, but I’m going to keep doing what I have been doing. Getting more treatment, taking care of my body, definitely getting out there and playing tennis,” explained Eubanks when asked about his plan against Mannarino.
The last match on Grandstand, not before 7 p.m. will feature Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego.
A semifinalist last year here, Cerundolo is the No. 25 seed. This will be the first time they meet in an ATP Tour tournament.
“It’s going to be a new match, I never play him. I’m looking forward to my game try to play as well as today. If I play like this, I think I can beat him”, said the Argentinian, ranked as World No. 31.
On the women’s side, only the two top-half quarterfinals are scheduled for this Wednesday. Not before 2 p.m. on Stadium, Italy’s Martina Trevisan, the No. 25 seed, battles Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan for the first time on the WTA Tour. Both seek to reach their maiden Miami Open semifinal.
Rybakina, the 2023 Indian Wells Champion and the No. 10 seed here reached her 11th straight win after knocking out Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3, while Trevisan clinched a spot in a WTA-1000 tournament quarterfinal for the first time in her career after ousting Jelena Ostapenko, the No. 24 seed, 6-3, 6-3 in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Not before 7 p.m. on Stadium, Jessica Pegula takes on Anastasia Potapova. The Buffalo, N.Y. native comes from prevailing over Poland’s Magda Linette, 6-1, 7-5, while her rival took out Chinese Qinwen Zhang, seeded No. 23, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Pegula defeated Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a third-round match at Indian Wells two weeks ago.
“It’s going to be another tough battle. I mean, I think she’s finding her confidence. Even when I played her in Indian Wells and saw her at the net, I kind of gave her a look like one is going to go your way one day. She hugged me. Like, she felt a little defeated at that moment, or tough match, but in a respectful way,” commented the World No. 3.
You can follow all the results and the men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws here.
Download the order of play for tomorrow and get your tickets here.