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Posted By Jack Langdon  
17:00 PM

In her first international match back since the pandemic started, World No. 1 Ash Barty has survived an almighty scare. The reigning Miami Open champion saved a match point and fought back from 2-5 down in the third set to defeat qualifier Kristina Kucova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. 

"Matches like that are extremely fulfilling, knowing you've done the work over an extended period to get just over the edge," Barty said. "That was a really tough one today, and I enjoyed every single second of it." 

Despite falling behind 0-40 in the final game, Barty rallied against the World No. 149 and closed the match out with a winner. At the end of the match, she looked at her coaches’ box and tapped the side of her head with her finger, a sign of her mental grit.  

"We never give up.”  

Barty will now face a fellow French Open champion in Jeļena Ostapenko in the third round. Ostapenko overcame Beligan qualifier Kirsten Flipkens 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.   

Despite bearing a wrist injury, World No. 5 Elina Svitolina dug deep to overcome local Shelby Rogers 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.  

"It was not a perfect performance from me, but the win is the win," Svitolina said.  

World No. 3 Simona Halep also rallied from within to overcome Carolina Garcia 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. 

Angelique Kerber absolutely dominated the court, with an emphatic 6-0, 6-0 over Renata Zarazúa. Kerber converted on 6/7 break points and won 65% of points on her second serve, whereas Zarazúa won a dismal 18%.  

Kerber will now face Victoria Azarenka who had a walkover in the second round. 

Petra Kvitová, Veronika Kudermetova, Johanna Konta, Belinda Bencic, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Aryna Sabalenka and Ana Konjuh were among the other winners in the round of 64 in Miami.  

Thanasi Kokkinakis' comeback has taken another positive step after the Aussie won his first ATP 1000’s match in three years. 

Kokkinakis was too strong for Japanese teenager and former Wimbledon Junior champion Shintaro Mochizuki, with the final result being 6-3, 6-3 in Kokkinakis' favour. Despite Mochizuki converting on more break points than his opponent, the Japanese young gun only won 25% of points on his second serve.  

The match wasn’t all smooth sailing, with Kokkinakis blowing up at the umpire. The Aussie was fuming that he had no shade in between breaks, and the fact he had to hold his own umbrella by himself.  

Kokkinakis then called the tournament supervisor to discuss the issue. 

Kokkinakis is not getting any shade and I told him he has to hold his own umbrella, that’s what we were told, and he said could we get a confirmation because it’s the stupidest rule and he’d like to hear it from you basically," the chair umpire told the supervisor.  

Kokkinakis then took to Twitter stating "we literally touch the same tennis balls, they held it in my last 'qualies' match. All good tho.”  

The Aussie will now face 29th seed Márton Fucsovics in the round of 64. 

Fellow Australian Jordan Thompson advanced to the second round thanks to a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over Federico Delbonis 

Thompson saved a set point in the tie break and subsequently took control to finish the match.  

The Aussie won an impressive 78% on his first serve and will now face 12th seed Milos Raonic in the round of 64. 

Christopher O’Connell suffered heartbreak, going down to Joao Sousa 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 7-5. Despite converting on 4/4 break points and serving at an impressive 83% on first serve, O’Connell couldn’t quite get the job done.  

British Teenager Jack Draper’s ATP tour debut was not what he would’ve liked as he collapsed and retired due to sweltering conditions. 

With very warm and humid weather, heat breaks even imposed in some matches. The conditions were all but too much for the Brit, as he was forced to retire while trailing 7-5.  

Damir Džumhur, Ilya Ivashka, Tennys Sandgren, Daniel Elahi Galán, Lorenzo Musetti and Aljaž Bedene were among the other winners in the opening round of men’s play. 

Alex de Minaur will come up against Colombian qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round.  

On the Challenger Tour Aleksandar Vukic and Marc Polmans went down 1-6, 6-3, 17-15 to third seeds Artem Sitak and Sergio Martos Gornes at the BSI Challenger Lugano.

On the ITF Futures Tour, Aussie teen Olivia Gadecki advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sharm El Sheikh Futures tournament with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Danish qualifier Olga Helmi.

Next up, Gadecki will take on Italian seventh seed Dalila Spiteri.

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