Tag: mackenzie mcdonald

ATP Tour wrap: Garin fights back from two sets down and two match points in epic day of Roland Garros action

A WHOPPING 11 of the 16 Round of 64 Roland Garros ATP matches required at least four sets, in an epic day of action in Paris. Six matches went the full five sets, with an additional five going to four and only the five straight sets results. Of those straight sets results, three of the five involved at least one tiebreaker, and the most one-sided result still involved the loser winning between two and four games a set. Throw in a couple of big upsets and the day was perfect for spectators to expect the unexpected.

Cristian Garin was just about ready to pack his bags and depart from Paris when he was two sets to love down and faced two match points in the third set tiebreaker against American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald. The American set up match points at 6-5 and 7-6, before Garin came back to win the last three points of the set and secure the tiebreaker, then posted a 6-3 in the in fourth to level the match. The players went toe-for-toe in the fifth set, with the players going beyond the regulation games for Garin to need to break in the 14th game and secure the five set win, 4-6 4-6 7-6 6-3 8-6. The clay court specialist hit 71 winners to 56, and won 69 to 55 per cent net points, as well as only three more unforced errors (59-53), In what was truly an epic, 354 points were played in four hours and 14 minutes on court.

The biggest upset of the day went to Swiss talent Henri Laaksonen, with the qualifier upstanding the usually consistent 11th seed Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Laaksonen started strong to win the first set, and whilst Bautista strongly won the second to look like he was going to build all the momentum, Laaksonen found another gear to win in two hours and 21 minutes, 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2. The Swiss player hit a massive 53 winners to 17, and whilst he also had 18 more unforced errors (43-25), won 42 per cent of his receiving points to Bautista Agut’s 35 per cent, and won 57 per cent of his second serve points – and 74 per cent of his first serve points – to be incredibly hard to move on serve.

The other big upset of sorts was Japan’s Kei Nishikori who fought back from a two sets to one deficit to post an epic win over 23rd seed Russian Karen Khachanov. The 2014 US Open finalist and former Top 5 player showed he still has the potential to match it with the world’s best, winning 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4 in three hours and 59 minutes. Nishikori hit 57 winners to 43 and still had three less unforced errors (56-59), with the Japanese talent breaking five times from 19 chances, one more than Khachanov’s four from 12 in a proving break to end the match. Nishikori said he was thrilled with taking down a quality talent in Khachanov.

“Yeah, that part I’m really happy with,” he said post-match. “Comparing the end of the last year with this tournament, I’m playing much better this year and fighting for two four-hour match. I don’t think I could do that last year. “My level was pretty high. “Even though I’m not having great result, I think the Europe season was good for me: Madrid and Rome. I only lost to top-10 players. “You can say I’m not beating Top 10 players right now, but I think things are getting much better for me. “I think I’m on the way to Top 10 again. “Yeah, I’m really enjoying this moment.”

In terms of comebacks, Laslo Djere had to come from the clouds to fend off Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, winning 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 after being two sets down in three hours and 31 minutes. Djere powered on after dropping the first two sets, and whilst he hit 12 more unforced errors (56-44), hit a whopping 65 winners to 31 in the impressive performance. The other five-set results were Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s win over Dutch qualifider Botic Van de Zandschulp, 6-4 6-4 5-7 2-6 6-4 to steady in the fifth to avoid a complete disaster, as well as American Steve Johnson‘s three-hour and 49-minute 6-4 6-7 7-6 3-6 6-3 victory over Brazilian Thiago Monteiro to advance to the third round. Argentinian Federico Delbonis also won in an epic against Spaniard Pablo Andujar, 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-3.

In more simple results, second seed Daniil Medvedev, 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta and 32nd seed Reilly Opelka advanced through to the third round after dropping a set but posting four-set wins. It was much easier going for fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, sixth seed Alexander Zverev – who was pushed all the way in the first round – 15th seed Casper Ruud, 27th seed Fabio Fognini and 31st seed John Isner who claimed Round of 64 wins in straight sets. Of the other unseeded remaining clash, American Marcos Giron knocked off Argentinian Guido Pella 7-6 6-1 6-7 6-4.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:

[2] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3
[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3 6-4 6-3
[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [Q] Roman Safiullin (RUS) 7-6 6-3 7-6
[Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) defeated [11] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2
[12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated [WC] Enzo Coacaud (FRA) 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-4
[15] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [PR] Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 6-3 6-2 6-4
[22] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated [Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 4-6 4-6 7-6 6-3 8-6
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated [23] Karen Khachanov (RUS) 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4
[27] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-6 6-1 6-2
[31] John Isner (USA) defeated Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6 6-1 6-2
[32] Reilly Opelka (USA) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated [Q] Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) 6-4 6-4 5-7 2-6 6-4
Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3
Marcos Giron (USA) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 7-6 6-1 6-7 6-4
Steve Johnson (USA) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-3 6-7 7-6 3-6 6-3

Picture credit: ATP Tour via Twitter

ATP Tour wrap: Thiem exits first round of Roland Garros

THE opening day of Roland Garros proceedings saw plenty of significant results, although none more so than the ousting of fourth seed Austrian Dominic Thiem. Thiem looked well on his way to booking a second round entry with a two sets to love lead, before dropping the remaining sets to be taken down in five sets. The Austrian was the only Grand Slam winner in his favourable half of the draw, ultimately making him a shoe-in for making the latter rounds, however Thiem’s poor recent form continues to plague him as Pablo Andujar took full advantage to claim a huge opening round win.

“It is very special to win here in Roland-Garros, in Court Philippe-Chatrier. Such an emotional win for me, being two sets to love down against an amazing player,” Andujar said.

“In every step I took since I came back after my injury, I really tried to enjoy everything, I really tried to give everything.

“I remember 2015 was a great year for me (third round at Roland Garros).” Maybe I have less legs and I play better tennis. “But I think that’s the most important part of it, it’s the one I’m enjoying the most.”

Andujar claimed the 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory in just under four and a half minutes, hitting 46 winners for 47 unforced errors throughout the marathon encounter. While Thiem hit 20 more winners, he also piled on 14 more unforced errors. Thiem was frustrated by his performance, stating that despite practicing well for the past few months, that form is not showing on court.

“All the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I’m not moving well enough, so everything in my game has some per cents missing,” Thiem said post-match.

“I don’t really know why, because since I stepped back on court it’s already been two months, and I was really practising well, super intense as well.”

While Thiem was the highest seed to fall on the opening day, he was by no means the only one, with 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov forced to retire midway through his clash with American Marcos Giron, while 19th seed Pole Hubert Hurkacz and 25th seed Brit Daniel Evans also fell, with the former downed in five by qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp and the latter succumbing to Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

It was a successful day for the remaining seven seeds, as top 15 talents Stefanos TsitsipasAlexander ZverevRoberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta all reigned supreme, joined by the likes of Cristian GarinKaren Khachanov and Fabio Fognini in the second round.

A fourth Spaniard in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina made his way to the second round, as did a smattering of qualifiers in Henri LaaksonenMackenzie McDonald and Roman Safiullin, and wildcard Frenchman Enzo Couacaud. The remaining winners of the day included former top five talent Kei Nishikori and Argentinian Guido Pella, while both Laslo Djere and Marton Fucsovics took care of Frenchman to head into the second round.

ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Pablo Andujar (ESP) defeated [4] Dominic Thiem (AUT) 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4
[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 6-3 6-1
[6] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [Q] Oscar Otte (GER) 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-0
[11] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated [Q] Mario Vilella Martinez (ESP) 6-4 6-4 6-2
[12] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-3 6-4 6-3
Marcos Giron (USA) defeated [16] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 2-6 4-6 7-5 3-0 RET
[Q] Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) defeated [19] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-2 6-4
[22] Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 3-6 6-4 7-6 6-2
[23] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-1 6-2 6-3
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) defeated [25] Daniel Evans (GBR) 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-4
[27] Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated [WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-4 6-1 6-4
[WC] Enzo Couacaud (FRA) defeated Egor Gerasimov (BLR) 7-6 6-4 6-3
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-4 6-4 6-3
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-3 6-7 7-6 7-5
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-4 6-1 7-6
[Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-2
[Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated [Q] Alessandro Giannessi (ITA) 6-4 6-7 6-3 4-6 6-4
Guido Pella (ARG) defeated [Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) 6-3 7-6 7-5
[Q] Roman Safiullin (RUS) defeated [Q] Carlos Taberner (ESP) 7-6 1-6 6-0 6-2

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Seeds all advance in Munich and Estoril

IT was a largely predictable day in the ATP 250 events across Europe as all six seeds out on court in Munich and Estoril advanced through to the quarter finals after the Round of 16 matches got underway. The only Top 10 talent in action was top seed Alexander Zverev, with the BMW Open favourites dominating 6-2 6-4 against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis to book his spot in the final eight. The match lasted one hour and 27 minutes before the German advanced, putting up six aces and winning 73 per cent of his first serve points.

“I haven’t played much tennis the past few weeks, so I know I’ll need to improve for the next match,” Zverev said post-match. “I’ve had success in the past and I feel good here. I’ve played well in the practice and hopefully I can do better on the match court.”

Zverev will be difficult to beat at home on the clay, though second seed Casper Ruud would be in with a shot, cruising through his first match in the tournament by taking care of Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, 6-3 6-2. Ruud was tough to beat on serve, only dropping nine points – including only two on his second serve – whilst not facing a break point and breaking the Uruguayan three times.

In other results, John Millman knocked off Guido Pella following the Argentinian’s retirement early in the second set. Despite being a set up, Pella dropped the first two games of the second set and was forced to retire in the 75th minute of the match. Meanwhile, Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka knocked off fellow qualifier, United States’ Mackenzie McDonald in three sets, 6-7 6-1 6-2, cruising home to book his spot in the next round against Zverev.

Over in Portugal, it was a good day for the seeds there too, albeit with a few more complications. With the exception of eighth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s whitewash of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-1 6-2, the other two seeds needed three sets to overcome their opponents. Third seed Ugo Humbert got up in a tight struggle over Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-4 3-6 6-3, while sixth seed Marin Cilic dropped the first set in a tiebreaker to home nation qualifier, Nuno Borges before coming back to win, 6-7 6-4 6-4. In the other match, South African Kevin Anderson took care of Spanish lucky loser Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 6-3 7-6.

BMW OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [LL] Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-2 6-4
[2] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3 6-2
[8] John Millman (AUS) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 4-6 2-0
[Q] Ilya Ivashka (BLR) defeated [Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-7 6-1 6-2

ESTORIL OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4 3-6 6-3
[6] Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Nuno Borges (POR) 6-7 6-4 6-4
[8] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-1 6-2
Kevin Anderson (RSA) [LL] Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 6-3 7-6

Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Tour wrap: Martinez overcomes Bublik as McDonald downs Lajovic

PLENTY of interesting results were had on the second day at both the Estoril and Munich Open events, as the clay season continues on the ATP Tour.

At Estoril, qualifier Pedro Martinez upset fifth seed Alexander Bublik in a dominant straight sets outcome, easily accounting for the Kazakh 6-3 6-0 in just 51 minutes. Whilst Bublik piled on six aces to Martinez’s one, the Kazakh fifth seed was uncharacteristically error-ridden and failed to convert a single break point from four chances. Martinez heads into the second round with the comfortable win behind him, with an excellent 82 per cent winning rate off his first serve, off a 70 per cent clip.

Meanwhile, sixth seed Marin Cilic was challenged by upcoming Spanish talent Carlos Alcaraz, winning the first set before dropping the second as Alcaraz created a huge turnaround in momentum. But it was not enough, as Cilic returned to his first set form in the third to eventually claim the 6-3 1-6 6-4 victory.

“I’m extremely happy to be here in Portugal, in Estoril for the first time,” Cilic said post-match. “It was a very difficult match. Carlos is a great young talent… Definitely he’s got an unbelievable future ahead of him.”

Cilic hit six aces to Alcaraz’s one, and whilst he also more than doubled Alcaraz’s three double faults, he was still more effective on serve, winning 60 per cent of his first serve points off a 64 per cent clip. Cilic was only marginally better on return, and won just one more point throughout the contest in the narrow win, which stretched out to two hours and 14 minutes in length.

“I was extremely happy to win after dropping the second set. He played really well,” Cilic said. “I was a break up in the third set and he broke back. In the end it was just a couple points that made the difference in the match.”

Three Frenchmen proceeded to the second round, with only Corentin Moutet realistically challenged for his spot in the second round by American Marcos Giron, forced to overcome a second set tiebreaker to come away with the 6-4 6-7(7) 6-4 victory. Richard Gasquet claimed a 6-3 7-5 victory over Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero, whilst Pierre-Hugues Herbert downed compatriot Gilles Simon 7-5 6-3 to head into the second round. Seventh seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas disposed of compatriot Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, as Marco Cecchinato and Cameron Norrie were the remaining winners of the day.

At Munich, American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald provided the win of the day after disposing of sixth seed Dusan Lajovic 6-4 6-4, requiring just under 90 minutes to claim victory. McDonald boasted a 79 per cent winning rate off his first serve off a 66 per cent clip throughout and also saved two break points on his way to the win. The other two seeds of the day waged better battles to head into the second round, as both Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and German Jan-Lennard Struff reigned supreme, both claiming straight sets wins.

Two more German competitors won on home soil and will join Struff in the second round, with Yannick Hanfmann and Dominik Koepfer overcoming deficits to win in three sets. Meanwhile, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan round out the remaining winners of the day, both disposing of Americans in Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron in straight sets.

MILLENNIUM ESTORIL OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[Q] Pedro Martinez (ESP) defeated [5] Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-3 6-0
[6] Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-3 1-6 6-4
[7] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-3 6-3
Marco Cecchinato (ITA) defeated Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-3 6-4
Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-3 7-5
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-5 6-3
Corentin Moutet (FRA) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-4
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [WC] Joao Sousa (POR)

BMW OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-2 6-3
[Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated [6] Dusan Lajovic (RB) 6-4 6-4
[7] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated [LL] Andrej Martin (SVK) 6-4 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) defeated Tennys Sandgren (USA) 7-6 0-6 6-1
[Q] Daniel Elahi Galan (COL) defeated Sebastien Korda (USA) 6-1 7-6
[WC] Yannick Hanfmann (GER) defeated [SE] Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-2 3-6 7-6
Dominik Koepfer (GER) defeated [WC] Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 4-6 6-4 6-3

ATP Miami Open 1000: Popyrin and Duckworth stun seeds in Miami

ALEXEI Popyrin and James Duckworth are through to the third round of the ATP Miami Open 1000 tournament after huge upset wins over their seeded opponents. The Australian duo both advanced following victories over Reilly Opelka and David Goffin respectively, in what was a massive result for the pair over in the United States.

Duckworth stunned eighth seed Goffin 6-3 6-1, hitting 22 winners in just 77 minutes of play. Popyrin needed just 65 minutes to dismiss the 30th seeded Opelka, backing up his great form in 2021 which saw him claim the Singapore Tennis Open title. He out-aced Opelka 13-12 which is not easy to do, but crucially saved three break points and broke his opponent three times himself from six chances.

“All of the hard work I’ve put in the pre-season is paying off, 11 wins in 14 matches,” Popyrin told ATPTour.com. “I really thought I was consistent during the match. Putting in lots of returns is difficult when Reilly is firing down 230 km/h bombs.”

Popyrin now has his hands full having to take on top seed, Russian Daniil Medvedev who easily accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu 6-2 6-2. Duckworth will face Alexander Bublik. Bublik comfortably took care of Serbian Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 to make his way through to the Round of 32. The biggest upset of the day was Finn up and comer Emil Ruusuvuori‘s win over German third seed Alexander Zverev. The unseeded talent came from behind to post a 1-6 6-3 6-1 victory over the Top 10 talent and book his spot in the third round.

Meanwhile the other major upset of the day was Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie toppling ninth seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in two tight sets, 7-5 7-5. The unseeded players joined Swede Mikael Ymer who won through to the third round hoping to turn his form of the past 18 months around with a three-set victory over 27th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, 6-3 4-6 6-4.

In other results, there were a number of seeds who advanced in the earlier games, as 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut did not even take the court with a walkover against in-form South African Lloyd Harris. Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime also toppled in-form Pierre Hugues-Herbert in straight sets, while Karen Khachanov and Dusan Lajovic took care of their respective opponents, Yannick Hanfmann and Ernesto Escobedo. In a battle of the young guns, Italian Jannik Sinner got the better of Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-2 6-2, as Taylor Fritz toppled compatriot Marcos Giron in straight sets, 6-2 6-2. The other completed result was 31st seed German Jan-Lennard Struff defeating Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, 6-3 6-4.

At the time of publishing, 18th seed John Isner and compatriot, qualifier Mackenzie McDonald were about to head out on court, whilst 19th seed Brit Dan Evans and American Frances Tiafoe were locked in a tight tussle in their battle on Court 1.

ATP MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 64:

[1] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated [PR] Yen-Hsun Lu (TAI) 6-2 6-2
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) defeated [3] Alexander Zverev (GER) 1-6 6-3 6-1
James Duckworth (AUS) defeated [8] David Goffin (BEL) 6-3 6-1
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [9] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 7-5 7-5
[11] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) 6-4 6-4
[12] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Lloyd Harris (RSA) W/O
[14] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-3 6-2
[16] Dusan Lajovic (CRO) defeated [Q] Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 6-2 6-3
[18] John Isner (USA) vs. [Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
[19] Daniel Evans (GBR) vs. Frances Tiafoe (USA)
[21] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [WC] Hugo Gaston (FRA) 6-2 6-2
[22] Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Marcos Giron (USA) 6-2 6-2
Mikael Ymer (SWE) defeated [27] Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-3 4-6 6-4
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated [30] Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-4 6-2
[31] Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) defeated Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3 6-4
[32] Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-3 6-4

Picture credit: ATP Tour

ATP Miami Open 1000: Popyrin and Duckworth book second round spots

THE first matches of the Miami Open 1000 took place overnight, with the winners advancing through to the second round of the major tournament. Whilst no seeds are in action in the Round of 128, there were still plenty of talented up-and-comers out on the hard courts.

Rising Australian Alexei Popyrin continued his good form coming off a maiden title a few weeks back to post a straight sets win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, 6-4 7-6. He made it to the second round with fellow Aussie James Duckworth, with a 6-2 4-6 6-4 win against German qualifier Mischa Zverev. France also had a couple of representatives through to the next round with wildcard Hugo Gaston, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert both advancing through to the Round of 64.

“It was a very difficult match,” Popyrin said post-match. “Feli is a very tough player. He has an unbelievable serve, so when I had my chances to break I was putting all of my focus on the break points. There was no rhythm in the match, so not many rallies, but I am happy with the way I was mentally. There were a couple of shaky moments here and there, but I hung in to win.”

The news was a mixed bag for the American hopefuls, with three winners and three losers on day one of the main draw, and one to come at the time of publishing. Marcos Giron knocked off compatriot Tommy Paul in straight sets 7-6 6-4 in the all-United States battle, whilst qualifiers Mackenzie McDonald and Ernesto Escobedo both advanced, against Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi and Canadian veteran Vasek Pospisil respectively. Meanwhile German Yannick Hanfmann got the better of Steve Johnson, whilst Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu defeated Sam Querrey, both in straight sets.

In other results, Cameron Norrie had to fight off a determined Yoshihito Nishioka in three sets, 6-1 3-6 7-5, while Serbian Laslo Djere also needed the full three sets to defeat Czech Jiri Vesely, 6-3 5-7 6-1. Other winners on day one of the main draw were Swede Mikael Ymer, Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, South African Lloyd Harris and Emil Ruusuvuori.

At the time of publishing, Frances Tiafoe and Stefano Travaglia were still on court deciding their first round match.

MIAMI OPEN 1000 ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

[PR] Yen-Hsun Lu (TAI) defeated Sam Querrey (USA) 6-3 6-4
Yannick Hanfmann (GER) defeated Steve Johnson (USA) 7-5 6-2
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-4 7-6
Marcos Giron (USA) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 7-6 6-4
Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Yoshihito Nishioka (JPB) 6-1 3-6 7-5
[WC] Hugo Gaston (FRA) defeated Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-1 6-4
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) defeated Pedro Sousa (POR) 6-1 6-3
Mikael Ymer (SWE) defeated [Q] Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) 6-3 6-1
[Q] Ernesto Escobedo (USA) defeated [Q] Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-3 6-2
James Duckworth (AUS) defeated [Q] Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-2 4-6 6-4
[Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-3 4-6 6-3
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) defeated [LL] Federico Gaio (ITA) 7-6 6-2
Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [Q] Emilio Nava (USA) 6-4 7-6
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-3 5-7 6-1
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) defeated [WC] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-4 2-6 7-5

Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs Stefano Travaglia (ITA)

Picture credit: ATP Tour

WTA Miami Open 1000: Americans fall on day one as qualifiers continue hunt for main draw entry

WHILST qualifying rounds are still being complete, the WTA Tour Miami Open 1000 event has officially begun, with intriguing results pouring out already on the first day of competition.

The top ranked player of the day was Shelby Rogers, and the homegrown hope was the only United States talent to proceed to the second round as a whopping six compatriots fell. While the fall of Madison Brengle was down to Rogers’ 6-3 6-3 sweep, the most high profile loss went to three-time Miami champion Venus Williams who was disposed of by Kazakh Zarina Diyas 6-2 7-6(10), as 16-year-old Katrina Scott went down 6-2 6-2 in the quickest match of the day to Sorana Cirstea, with the Romanian needing just 60 minutes to collect the win. Losses to Lauren DavisRobin Montgomery and Christina McHale completed the United States’ day, with Russia also proving unlucky on day one as Anastasia Potapova and Anna Blinkova both fell.

Looking to successful performers on the opening day, and the likes of Paula Badosa were fortunate to remain in the draw, with the Spaniard winning through in strange circumstances as her Swiss opposition in Jil Teichmann retired despite leading the first set, whilst Barbora Krejcikova and Magda Linette completed the only three set wins of the day against Blinkova and Montgomery, respectively. Krejcikova’s victory was the only match to go over two hours at two hours and three minutes, though the 6-3 7-5 matchup between Laura Siegemund and McHale came close coming down to one hour and 58 minutes.

In the remaining matches, Arantxa RusWang Xinyu and Nadia Podoroska all reigned supreme in their respective outings, with all three straight sets sweeps completed well within 90 minutes.

MIAMI OPEN ROUND OF 128 RESULTS:

Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 5-6 RET
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated Anastasia Potapova (RUS) 7-5 6-0
Shelby Rogers (USA) defeated Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3 6-3
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Marie Bouzkova (CZE) 6-3 6-2
Kaia Kanepi (EST) defeated Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3 7-5
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) defeated Venus Williams (USA) 6-2 7-6
Wang Xinyu (CHN) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-2
Nadia Podoroska (ARG) Mayar Sherif (EGY) 6-3 6-1
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) defeated Katrina Scott (USA) 6-2 6-2
Magda Linette (POL) defeated Robin Mongomery (USA) 6-1 3-6 6-0
Laura Siegemund (GER) defeated Christina McHale (USA) 6-3 7-5
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-1 3-6 6-3

For the remainder of the men’s and women’s qualifiers, results went as unpredictable as ever with just one of the women’s top 10 seeds heading through to the main draw, as seventh seed Nina Stojanovic defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands, while Kirsten Flipkens (fourth seed), Tamara Zidansek (fifth) and Varvara Gracheva (sixth) all fell at the second hurdle. The men’s proceedings were just as interesting, with top two Mackenzie McDonald and Thiago Seyboth Wild both reigning supreme, while four top 10 seeds fell. Both wildcards in Mischa Zverev and Shintaro Mochizuki proceed to the main draw.

ATP/WTA Miami Open 1000: Qualifiers wrap

THE qualifying rounds have begun at both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour Miami Open 1000 event in the United States, with plenty of talented names looking to break into the main draw entries over the next few days.

In the men’s draw, the day’s top ranked players in Mackenzie McDonald and Thiago Seyboth Wild both made it through to Day 2 unscathed, whilst fellow top 10 qualifying seeds in Damir DzumhurHenri LaaksonenFederico GaioBrandon Nakashima and Jason Jung also completed their first round matches successfully. Wildcards Mischa Zverev and Shintaro Mochizuki both kept their main draw hopes alive with the former overcoming 16th seed Danilo Petrovic, whilst the latter was 4-1 up against seventh seed Daniel Altmaier before the German retired mid-match. Looking at the home-grown American talent, Bjorn Fratangelo, Mitchell Krueger and Ernesto Escobedo all join McDonald and Nakashima in the second day of qualifiers, with Emilio Nava still yet to play.

Looking to the women’s, and there are plenty of quality players looking to earn their way into the main draw with yesterday’s Monterrey victor in Leylah Fernandez one of them. The Canadian second seed is yet to play, but will hope her result goes a different way to her fellow top seeds with Misaki Doi (first seed) and Martina Trevisan (third) both falling in three sets. Rounding out the top five seeds are Kirsten Flipkens and Tamara Zidansek, with both reigning supreme in their respective matches, whilst Varvara Gracheva and Nina Stojanovic were the only other two top 10 qualifiers to remain in the hunt. Looking once more to the American talent aiming to earn their way into the main draw, Kristie Ahn and Hailey Baptiste both did what their more high profile compatriots could not, making it through to the next round as Caty McNally and Coco Vandeweghe both fell.

ATP Tour wrap: Roger returns to a win as top five seeds advance in Doha

THREE tournaments across the globe saw Round of 16 matches completed in Doha, Marseille and Santiago, including the return of a legend as we wrap up the day’s work on the ATP Tour.

Roger Federer was the man everyone was watching in Doha, as the Swiss Grand Slam winner made his successful return from injury to post a solid victory over Great Britain’s Daniel Evans. It was far from complete, only just surviving a first set tiebreaker and then dropping the second set, but Federer came away with the three set win. 7-6 3-6 7-5 in two hours and 24 minutes. He served up 13 aces and won 79 per cent of his first serve points, and showed enough to suggest he will be building in the coming weeks.

“It feels good to be back,” Federer said post-match. “I am happy to be standing here regardless of if I won or lost, but obviously winning feels better. It was a good match. Dan played a good match too. He has been a wonderful training partner as well. Over the past two weeks, we played over 20 sets and it went on [tonight].”

Federer joined fellow top five seeds through to the quarter finals in Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Roberto Bautista Agut who all advanced into the final eight. Thiem had the biggest fight of the lot, coming back from a set down to shake off Russian wildcard and Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev, 6-7 6-3 6-2. Shapovalov got the better of Canadian compatriot Vasek Pospisil again 7-5 6-4, while Bautista Agut defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-4 6-3, and Rublev waltzed through to the quarter finals following opponent Richard Gasquet‘s withdrawal pre-match.

In the other results, Taylor Fritz put in the biggest upset of the day, defeating sixth seed Belgian David Goffin 6-1 5-7 7-6. The other two unseeded players to advance through were Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marton Fucsovics. Basilashvili toppled Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri in straight sets 6-2 6-2, while Fucsovics had to work a bit harder to shake off South African qualifier Lloyd Harris in three, 4-6 7-6 6-2.

Fritz takes on Shapovalov up first tomorrow, with Rublev and Fucsovics completing the day session at Doha. Federer and Basilashvili open the night session, with the completion of the evening being Thiem and Bautista Agut in a blockbuster head-to-head.

QATAR OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[1] Dominic Thiem (AUT) defeated [WC] Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-7 6-3 6-2
[2] Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Daniel Evans (GBR) 7-6 3-6 7-5
[3] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Richard Gasquet (FRA) W/O
[4] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-5 6-4
[5] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4 6-3
Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated [6] David Goffin (BEL) 6-1 5-7 7-6
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) defeated [WV] Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-2 6-2
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated [Q] Lloyd Harris (RSA) 4-6 7-6 6-2

 

Six matches were completed in Marseille overnight, as the first four quarter finalists were decided, and the Round of 32 remaining two matches done and dusted. In those first round contests, Belarusian Egor Gerasimov destroyed German Yannick Hanfmann 6-2 6-0, while Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie advanced through in a tough one over French qualifier Constant Lestienne, 6-4 6-7 6-3.

The four Open 13 Provence Round of 16 matches saw all three seeds on court book their spots in the quarter finals, and it was further bad news for the home nation. While fourth seed Ugo Humbert made his way through to the final eight, it was at the expense of compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while wildcard Hugo Gaston also fell, going down to fifth seed Jannik Sinner in straight sets. Continuing the theme of straight sets results, third seed Karen Khachanov knocked off American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6 6-4, while Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden stunned Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori, 6-2 6-2.

The remaining four Round of 16 matches take place today, with Norrie challenging Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and Gerasimov stepping up against top seed Daniil Medvedev. In the other games, two more home nation heroes enter the court, as qualifier Arthur Rinderknech will test himself against seventh seed Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while Lucas Pouille has an even stiffer test, up against second seed Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

OPEN 13 PROVENCE ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[3] Karen Khachanov (RUS) defeated [PR] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 7-6 6-4
[4] Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 6-3 6-4
[5] Jannik Sinner (ITA) defeated [WC] Hugo Gaston (FRA) 6-4 6-1
[Q] Matthew Ebden (AUS) defeated Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6-2 6-2

ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated [Q] Constant Lestienne (FRA) 6-4 6-7 6-3
Egor Gerasimov (BLR) defeated Yannick Hanfmann (GER) 6-2 6-0

 

At the time of publishing, three Round of 16 matches were completed, with two of the three seeds in action making it through to the quarter finals. Fourth seed Serbian Laslo Djere took out Portugal’s Pedro Sousa in a three set battle 5-7 7-5 6-3, while eighth seed Argentinian Federico Delbonis easily accounted for Slovenian Andrej Martin 6-0 6-3.

Fellow Argentinian Facundo Bagnis provided the upset of the day against fifth seed Frances Tiafoe, defeating the American through two tiebreakers, which were 7-3 7-2 for a final result of 7-6 7-6. The final match of the day was between second seed Frenchman Benoit Paire and Danish qualifier Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune for a spot in the quarter finals.

In tomorrow’s matches, the remaining four Round of 16 games take place. Top seed Cristian Garin takes on compatriot, Chilean wildcard Alejandro Tabilo. In other fixtures, third seed Pablo Andujar faces Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan, fellow Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena locks horns with Argentinian wildcard and Cordoba Open winner Juan Manuel Cerundolo, while another Argentinian in seventh seed Federico Coria goes head to head with Austrian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas.

CHILE OPEN ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

[2] Benoit Paire (FRA) vs. [Q] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN)
[4] Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Pedro Sousa (POR) 5-7 7-5 6-3
Facundo Bagnis (ARG) defeated [5] Frances Tiafoe (USA) 7-6 7-6
[8] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Andrej Martin (SLO) 6-0 6-3

 

Picture credit: Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

ATP Tour wrap: Intriguing results heading into ATP 250 Rounds of 16

THE second day of Round of 32 proceedings is almost complete at the trio of ATP 250 tournaments at Qatar, Marseille and Santiago, with plenty of formidable outcomes continuing to set the tone for the quality of matches.

At Qatar, David Goffin continued his excellent form of late with a 6-4 6-4 clean sweep over Filip Krajinovic, rendering the Serbian wasteful and winning a whopping 82 per cent of his first serve points. Proceedings did not go quite so well for fellow seed Stan Wawrinka who was outplayed by South African qualifier Lloyd Harris. Harris took the Swiss talent to three sets only to run out 7-6 6-7 7-5 victor in two hours and 40 minutes. Whilst Wawrinka had a higher first serve win rate (87 per cent), Harris was more efficient with an 81 per cent win rate off a 69 per cent clip to claim victory, with his cleanliness on serve (11 aces for three double faults) compared to Wawrinka’s 17 and five doing the trick in this encounter.

Wildcard Malek Jaziri managed an to capitalise on a wealth of chances in an excellent outing against lucky loser Norbert Gombos, defeating the Slovakian – who ranks 95th in the world to Jaziri’s 262nd – in straight sets, 6-2 7-5. In other matches, Daniel EvansVasek Pospisil and Marton Fucsovics all reigned supreme, with the former claiming a 6-4 1-6 6-2 comeback victory over Jeremy Chardy, whilst Pospisil and Fucsovics both won in straight sets.

QATAR OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[6] David Goffin (BEL) defeated Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-4 6-4
[Q] Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [7] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-6 6-7 7-5
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4 1-6 6-2
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) defeated Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 7-6 6-3
[WC] Malek Jaziri (TUN) defeated [LL] Norbert Gombos (SVK) 6-2 7-5
Vasek Pospisil (CAN) defeated [Q] Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-3 6-4

 

In Marseille, proceedings went much the way of the hometown heroes on day two as four Frenchman made their way through to the Round of 16. Wins to Pierre-Hugues HerbertJo-Wilfried TsongaLucas Pouille and Arthur Rinderknech kept France on the hunt, with the former and latter coming away with scalps as Herbert defeated sixth seed Kei Nishikori, whilst 138 ranked Rinderknech disposed of world number 96 Mikhail Kukushkin. Meanwhile, Tsonga got back on the winners list with a tough victory over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, with the 3-6 6-4 7-5 battle seeing the two players combine for 32 aces and only seven double faults in a two-hour and seven-minute encounter.

The only seed – of two – to win through on day two at the Open 13 Provence was Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, as the seventh seed Spaniard disposed of Greek wildcard Petros Tsitsipas – younger brother of world number five Stefanos – in 45 minutes, 6-0 6-2. Also joining Davidovich Fokina in the second round are Australian Matt Ebden and American Mackenzie McDonald, after both players fought hard for victories ovwer Benjamin Bonzi and Stefano Travaglia, respectively.

OPEN 13 PROVENCE ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) defeated [6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) 6-1 6-4
[7] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated [WC] Petro Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-0 6-2
Lucas Pouille (FRA) defeated [Q] Alex Molcan (SVK) 7-5 6-3
[Q] Matthew Ebden (AUS) defeated [WC] Benjamin Bonzi (FRA) 3-6 7-6 6-3
[PR] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) defeated Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 7-6 7-6
[Q] Arthur Rinderknech (FRA) defeated Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 1-6 6-3 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 3-6 6-4 7-5

 

The only tournament which saw two seeds prevail on day two was at Chile, with a couple of Argentinian seeds in Federico Coria and Federico Delbonis reigning supreme in three sets. A huge three-hour and 10-minute encounter between Coria and Gianluca Mager delayed a lot of the day’s proceedings, with the 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) result not coming easy to the Argentinian. But overall, Coria was far more consistent on serve, with a better efficiency and winning ability, whilst also backing it up on the return. His compatriot in Delbonis took all of two hours and 51 minutes to dispose of Spaniard Jaume Munar, 6-4 6-7 6-4. Two more Argentinians were not so lucky though, with Sebastian Baez and Francisco Cerundolo both disposed of in straight sets, with the latter unable to back up his excellent finals-bound run from last week going down in under an hour to Andrej Martin.

It was an impressive day for qualifiers as three players continue through to the Round of 16 following consecutive days on court, with Dutch young gun Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune downing the aforementioned Baez 6-3 6-2, whilst Chilean Alejandro Tabilo defeated Jozef Kovalik 6-1 0-6 6-4 and Juan Pablo Varillas downed Joao Sousa. One match remains, with a duo of wildcards in hometown hope Gonzalo Lama and Argentinian Juan Manuel Cerundolo just beginning.

CHILE OPEN ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:

[Q] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (NED) defeated [Q] Sebastian Baez (ARG) 6-3 6-2
[7] Federico Coria (ARG) defeated Gianluca Mager (ITA) 4-6 7-6 7-6
[8] Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-4 6-7 6-4
Andrej Martin (SVK) defeated [SE] Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-1 6-2
[Q] Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) defeated Jozef Kovalik (SVK) 6-1 0-6 6-4
[Q] Juan Pablo Varillas (PER) defeated Joao Sousa (POR) 6-4 6-1
[WC] Gonzalo Lama (CHI) v. [WC] Juan Manuel Cerundolo (ARG)