Karlovic plays McDonald for a Spot at Miami Open Main Draw

By Daniel Perissé

Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic and top-seeded Mackenzie McDonald have succeeded in their debuts at the Miami Open presented by Itaú Men’s Qualifying and will play this Tuesday, March 23rd, for a place in the Singles main draw.

The 42-year-old had an impressive 84% on first serve points and 15 aces beating Japanese Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 7-6(3) in over an hour, while McDonald cruised past Dominican Roberto Cid Subervi 6-1, 6-1.

Other winners in the first day of qualies were Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, who defeated American junior star Toby Alex Kodat 6-3, 6-3. His opponent will be another US player: Mitchell Krueger, who prevailed against Italian Lorenzo Giustino 6-4, 6-3.

Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis and Spaniard Mario Vilella Martinez also moved on for a place in the Miami Open main draw. The Adelaide native beat Portuguese Frederico Ferreira Silva 6-1, 7-6(3), and Martinez also needed only two sets to triumph over German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 7-6(5), 6-3.

In the Women’s Qualifying Draw, Wild Card Hailey Baptiste upset top seed Misaki Doi, from Japan, with a 1-6, 6-0, 7-6(7-0) win. Former doubles World No.1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands also needed three sets to defeat Italian Sara Errani 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Less than 24 hours after claiming the Monterrey title, Canadian Leylah Fernandez went back on court to face Mihaela Buzarnescu in the first qualifying round. After a good start, the 19-year-old player was defeated by the Romanian 6-4, 6-2.

The second and last round of qualifying matches will happen tomorrow at Hard Rock Stadium, starting at 10:00am. There are 24 main draw spots (12 for men and 12 for women) at stake.