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DUCKWORTH, POPYRIN CLAIM BIG WINS IN MIAMI

Posted By Jack Langdon  
27/03/2021
18:56 PM

Australians Alexei Popyrin and James Duckworth have advanced to the third round of the Miami Open in scintillating fashion. 

World No. 104 Duckworth dismantled World No. 13 David Goffin 6-3, 6-1 in just under 80 minutes, in what is arguably a career best win for the Aussie.

Duckworth won a whopping 79% of points on his first serve and didn't face a break point all day. He will face Alexander Bublik in the third round after the Kazakh defeated Laslo Đere 6-3, 6-4. 

Alexei Popyrin brushed off American 30th seed Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-2 in just 65 minutes.  

“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 is set to rise to a new career high of 80 on Monday but will face his toughest test of the year as he is taking on World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the third round.  

Medvedev had little qualms overcoming Lu Yen-hsun, closing out the match 6-2, 6-2. 

The Russian converted on 5/8 break points and served nine aces. 

Popyrin is a really great player,” said Medvedev. “I practised with him a lot during pre-season, and I know that he can play some great tennis, so it will be a tough match.”  

Third seed Alexander Zverev has been knocked out of the tournament, falling 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 to Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori. 

"I don't even know myself [how I turned this match around]," Ruusuvuori said in his on-court interview. "I wasn't feeling very comfortable in the first set and I was making a lot of unforced errors. But slowly in the second I was starting to feel a bit better. 

"Of course, it's one of the biggest wins in my career so it feels good." 

Frances Tiafoe battled for 2 hours and 52 minutes to take down Dan Evans 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3.  

Karen Khachanov, Jannik Sinner, Mikael Ymer, Taylor Fritz, Jan-Lennard Struff, Felix Auger Aliassime and Cameron Norrie were among the others to advance to the third round. 

Ajla Tomljanović gave Naomi Osaka a scare in her first match back since claiming the Australian Open, but Osaka eventually pulled away to claim a 7-6 (3), 6-4.  

Ultimately, Tomljanović’s 24 unforced errors were her downfall. The Aussie also went twice up a break in the opening set.  

"This is my first match since Australia, so I just really wanted to play well," Osaka said. 

"I kind of feel like I'm at home here, because I grew up (near Miami) for most of my life." 

Osaka will face qualifier Nina Stojanović in the round of 32. 

Strom Sanders didn’t have much luck against the in form Jessica Pegula, going down 6-3, 6-4. Sanders converted on 2/8 break points, whereas Pegula converted on 4/8.  

Pegula will now take on sixth seed Karolína Plíšková 

13th seed Jen Brady was knocked out by Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Brady won a low 42% on of points on her second serve.  

Ons Jabeur, Sofia Kenin, Amanda Anisimova, Maria Sakkari, Bianca Andreescu, Garbiñe Muguruza, Anett Kontaveit and Nina Stojanović were among the other winners of the day.  

Ellen Perez and partner Zheng Saisai went down 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 in the doubles to Tímea Babos and Veronika Kudermetova 

On the ITF Futures Tour, Aussie Olivia Gadecki advanced to the semifinals at the Sharm El Sheikh Futures tournament thanks to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Italian Dalila Spiter. 

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