Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his strong run of form en route to the Miami Open third round, while Aslan Karatsev's maintained his fairytale run in 2021.

Greek star Tsitsipas flexed his muscles in a straight-sets win over Damir Dzumhur on Saturday.

Australian Open semi-finalist and Dubai Tennis Championships winner Karatsev enjoyed a victorious Miami debut.

Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov, Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic also progressed at the ATP 1000 tournament.

 

TSITSIPAS STAYS HOT

World number five Tsitsipas eased past Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 in his first appearance since losing in last week's Mexican Open final.

Tsitsipas (15-4) became the third player to reach 15 wins this season, the second seed following in the footsteps of Russian duo Rublev (17-3) and Daniil Medvedev (15-2).

"It was a great match, especially against a guy that I probably don't have a good record playing against in the past," said Tsitsipas. "I started the match very strong, breaking him twice and taking a big lead in the score, and I think the things worked out by themselves after that."

Tsitsipas will face Kei Nishikori after the Japanese outlasted Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 6-4.

 

NO STOPPING KARATSEV

Karatsev's Miami Open debut ended in a 6-4 6-3 win for the 17th-seeded Russian over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Already in the ATP's top 100 and set to keep climbing, Karatsev broke serve four times en route to the next round, where Sebastian Korda awaits after upstaging 10th seed Fabio Fognini 1-6 6-4 6-2.

"Of course it gives me confidence to win my first title, but you arrive here and it’s a different surface and new tournament," said Karatsev, who ended last season ranked 112th before bursting into the top 30 behind his semi-final run at Melbourne Park. "So you try [to think of it] as a new tournament and new place, but of course it gives me a lot of confidence."

Karatsev owns a 13-2 record this year, with his only two losses coming against world number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

 

RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Fourth seed Rublev has proven to be remarkably consistent, highlighted by his crushing 6-1 6-2 rain-interrupted victory against Tennys Sandgren.

Having equalled his previous best run in Miami, Rublev will play 29th seed Marton Fucsovics who took down Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Rublev has won a Tour-leading 17 matches this year.

Elsewhere, fifth seed Schwartzman was a 6-3 6-3 winner against Yasutaka Uchiyama, Shapovalov – the sixth seed – trumped Ilya Ivashka 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 in a marathon, 12th seed Raonic accounted for Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-1, former US Open winner Cilic surprised 13th seed Christian Garin 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5), while 15th seed Alex de Minaur was eliminated.

Third seed Alexander Zverev was sensationally dumped out of the Miami Open second round as Finnish 21-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori claimed his second top 10 win of his career.

Russuvuori bounced back after losing the first set, changing his tactics and overwhelming the German on Friday to set up a third round meeting with Mikael Ymer.

Ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov also bowed out, going down to Briton Cameron Norrie, while eighth seed David Goffin lost to James Duckworth.

World number two and top seed Daniil Medvedev eased past Lu Yen-hsun, while 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, Karen Khachanov and John Isner all progressed.

 

TURNAROUND STUNS THIRD SEED

Zverev may have won last week's Mexican Open and the opening set 6-1 against Ruusuvuori but the tables turned quickly as the Finn produced one of the best displays of his career to date.

The 83rd ranked Finn moved regularly to the net and was aggressive in his approach, leaving Zverev rattled before winning 1-6 6-3 6-1 in a stunning momentum shift.

"I don't even know myself," Ruusuvuori said in his on-court interview when asked how he turned the match around.

"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."

He'll next face Ymer who knocked out 27th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

 

NINTH SEED BUNDLED OUT

Former world number three Dimitrov was ousted from the Miami Open on Friday, losing 7-5 7-5 to 56th ranked Norrie.

The Bulgarian took an early break and served for the first set at 5-3 but Norrie showed his mettle to break back twice to take the opener.

Norrie sent down 10 aces and was strong on serve throughout, claiming a significant win for his burgeoning career.

“It’s huge,” Norrie said. “He’s had a good start to the year. It was such a physical match at the start. He came out really fast and he set the tone at the beginning of the match. Massive one for me and I take a lot of confidence from it.”

Norrie's win sets up a third round meeting with American Taylor Fritz who beat Marcos Giron 6-2 6-2.

 

DANIIL DOMINATES, GOFFIN SHOCK

Australian Open runner-up Medvedev made light work of Lu, winning 6-2 6-2 to book a third round match with Australian 21-year-old Alexei Popyrin.

Medvedev won in less than an hour, hitting 24 winners and nine aces and making few errors in a clinical display.

Canadian 11th seed Aliassime proved too good for Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-4, setting up a third round meeting with 18th seed John Isner who got past qualifier Mackenzie McDonald.

Seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut progressed by virtue of a walkover against Lloyd Harris who had a wrist issue.

Eighth seed Goffin lost to world number 104 Duckworth 6-3 6-1 in a boilover.

Lorenzo Musetti built on his good form with a first-round victory over Michael Mmoh at the Miami Open on Thursday.

Emerging star Musetti defeated American qualifier Mmoh 6-4 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with 23rd seed Benoit Paire.

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic also progressed in a three-set victory over Federico Coria, while Thanasi Kokkinakis, Sebastian Korda, Tennys Sandgren and Jordan Thompson were other winners.

Former top-five player Kevin Anderson was among those to bow out in the first round of the ATP 1000 event.

 

STAR ON THE RISE

Italian teenager Musetti continued his rapid rise with a hard-fought victory over Mmoh.

The 19-year-old Musetti reached the semi-finals of last week's Mexican Open, where he beat both Diego Schwartzman and Grigor Dimitrov en route to the semi-finals.

This week, Musetti battled past wildcard Mmoh in one hour, 38 minutes.

"Last week was a fantastic run in Acapulco," Musetti said in his on-court interview. " I played a really good match, it was a tough match.

"I think my lethal weapon is the backhand down the line."

 

CILIC SLICE OF FORTUNE

Former world number three Cilic secured his place in the second round with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 victory against Federico Coria.

However, Cilic – the 2014 US Open winner – had a huge slice of luck to claim a break back in the first.

The Croatian got lucky down a break at 2-1 but up 30-40 in the first when he mishit his overhead attempt, striking his frame and bobbling over for a drop shot winner to level.

"It was important for me to keep my head down, keep the focus and just try to get the best level I could today," Cilic said.

 

FOND MEMORIES FOR THANASI

Australian qualifier Kokkinakis' fond memories in Miami returned with a 6-3 6-3 win over Shintaro Mochizuki as he continues his positive return from a shoulder injury.

Kokkinakis beat then-world number one Roger Federer in Miami in 2018.

Korda won his Miami Open debut match, triumphing 6-3 6-0 over Radu Albot to set up a meeting with 10th seed Fabio Fognini.

Jordan Thompson will face Milos Raonic after accounting for Federico Delbonis 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in two hours, 12 minutes.

Sandgren – a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist – got past Pedro Martinez 6-4 2-0, with the Spaniard retiring.

Wimbledon and US Open runner-up Anderson was a surprise casualty, going down 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 to lucky loser Damir Dzumhur.

"I know that my game can be much better than what I'm showing right now and my position in the ATP Rankings can be much better," Dzumhur said.

Vasek Pospisil launched a stunning tirade during his three-set defeat to American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.

The Canadian former world number 25 was docked a point for verbal abuse, subsequently conceding the first set, before a meltdown during the change of ends.

Pospisil used a profanity in reference to ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi when speaking to chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.

“[Gaudenzi was] screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players — for an hour and a half," Pospisil said to Gabas. "If you want to default me, I’ll gladly sue this whole organisation.”

He did fight back to win the second set but ultimately lost to McDonald 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Pospisil, who is nowadays ranked 67th, was joined among the first-round exits by last week's Mexican Open semi-finalist Dominik Koepfer, who went down 6-1 6-4 to wildcard Hugo Gaston as he claimed his first career Masters 1000 win.

Sam Querrey, ranked 63rd, also bowed out 6-3 6-4 to Lu Yen-hsun, who will meet world number two Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

YOUNGSTER BEATS VETERAN

Australian youngster Alexei Popyrin secured his maiden win at the Miami Open, knocking out the oldest player in the draw Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Popyrin, 21, claimed his first ATP Tour title last month in Singapore and backed that up with a strong display against the 39-year-old former top 20 Spaniard.

Recent Open 13 Marseille runner-up Pierre-Hugues Herbert got past Portugal's Pedro Sousa 6-1 6-3, while South Africa's Lloyd Harris defeated Emilio Nava 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

Frances Tiafoe won in the final match of Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Stefano Travaglia 5-7 6-4 6-2.

 

COMEBACK CAM

Brit Cameron Norrie produced a heroic final-set fightback to claim his spot in the second round, where he will face Grigor Dimitrov.

Norrie trailed 5-1 in the third set against Yoshihito Nishioka, before winning 6-1 3-6 7-5, winning the last six games to clinch victory.

The 56th-ranked Brit sent down eight aces in the victory, although he got the edge on return and converted seven of his 10 break points.

SECOND ROUND

Top seed Medvedev will face Lu on Thursday, while third seed Alexander Zverev will take on Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori.

Norrie will meet Dimitrov, while 11th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Herbert and eighth seed David Goffin will take on James Duckworth.

Harris has a match-up against seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Andy Murray will not feature at the Miami Open after withdrawing from the tournament because of a groin injury.

The former world number one and three-time grand slam champion has featured only twice on the ATP Tour this season, losing in the first round in Montpellier before going one better in Rotterdam, where he was beaten by Andrey Rublev.

He withdrew from this month's Dubai Tennis Championships to be with his wife as she gave birth to their fourth child.

And his return to action has been delayed again, with Murray missing out on a tournament he has won twice.

The 33-year-old beat Novak Djokovic in the 2009 final and defeated David Ferrer to lift the trophy four years later. He lost to Djokovic in the final in 2012 and 2015.

Murray holds a 28-9 record in Miami, where he had been given a wild card. His place in the draw will be filled by a qualifier or a lucky loser.

The Scot has not competed in a Masters 1000 event since 2016, the next event at that level on the calendar is next month's Monte Carlo Masters.

Juan Martin del Potro will undergo knee surgery for the fourth time but retains hope of playing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Del Potro, who was a career-high world number three in August 2018 and still in the top 10 fewer than two years ago, has not appeared on the ATP Tour since withdrawing from the Queen's Club Championships in 2019.

The 2009 US Open champion had his first procedure after falling at the tournament in London and another followed in January 2020.

The third operation came last August as pain persisted, but the issue still has not been eradicated.

However, Del Potro said in an Instagram post on Monday that the death of his father earlier this year had motivated him to continue pursuing a return to the court.

The 32-year-old, who won bronze for Argentina at the 2012 Olympics and silver four years later, will go under the knife again in Chicago on Tuesday.

"We've tried conservative therapy but the pain is still there," he wrote.

"[Doctor Jorge Chahla] knows I want to play tennis again and be able to play the Olympics, so we agreed that surgery should be done as soon as possible.

"Of course, these last few weeks weren't easy for me. Everything's so hard since my father's passing.

"But also, I feel the strength he sends me from above. I had this day in which I woke up and called the doctor. I knew I had to try again.

"I hope I can overcome this painful situation. I won't stop trying. Of course, your messages and best wishes are always welcomed. Thanks for the love."

German star Alexander Zverev was too strong for top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Mexican Open final, claiming the title in straight sets after a stunning turnaround.

In a battle of the top two seeds, Zverev reigned supreme 6-4 7-6 (7-3) for his 14th ATP crown in Saturday's Acapulco decider.

Last year's US Open finalist Zverev was runner-up at the ATP 500 tournament in 2019, beaten by Australian Nick Kyrgios in straight sets.

But Zverev went one step further this year, taking down two-time Australian Open semi-finalist Tsitsipas after two hours, 17 minutes.

Zverev, who was rocked during his semi-final win over countryman Dominik Koepfer on Friday – a 5.7 magnitude earthquake registered as broadcast cameras shook, did not drop a set throughout his title-winning run.

Greek star Tsitsipas made an impressive start, racing out to a 3-0 lead after breaking Zverev in the second game.

Zverev, though, hit back as he put the set back on serve in the seventh game before consolidating.

Another break saw Tsitsipas come unstuck – Zverev reeling off six consecutive games to claim the opening set in red-hot fashion.

Zverev and Tsitsipas went toe-to-toe in the second set, the pair exchanging breaks late as a tie-break eventually saw the former complete a dominant display.

Aslan Karatsev captured the first ATP Tour title of his career as the late-blossoming Russian triumphed in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

At the age of 27, and with little warning, Karatsev has hurtled from obscurity before tennis went into lockdown 12 months ago to real prominence.

A 6-3 6-2 victory over South African Lloyd Harris on Saturday gave him a trophy for his efforts and he will enter the top 30 on Monday, having never had a double-digit ranking before this season.

Karatsev reached the Australian Open semi-finals last month, having had to win three qualifying rounds to make the main draw, and it took Novak Djokovic to stop that charge in Melbourne.

Now Vladikavkaz-born Karatsev is back in another winning routine, with Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and Dan Evans having figured among his victims en route to the Dubai final.

The first-time champion said on Amazon Prime: "I am super happy. It was a tight match. [I was] really nervous. I want to congratulate my opponent for the final [run]. He did a great week. Every final is different, so I am happy that I won."

Karatsev had some promising results at Challenger Tour level last year but had never shown form on the main circuit until the start of 2021, and suddenly he looks a major force to be reckoned with.

He said of the rush of success: "You never know when it is coming. I did a good job with my team, with my coach and it has happened now."

World number five Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised into the Mexican Open final with a routine victory over Italian teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti in Acapulco on Friday.

Tsitsipas triumphed 6-1 6-3 in 79 minutes to get past 19-year-old Musetti, who had beaten third seed Diego Schwartzman and former world number three Grigor Dimitrov on his run to the semis.

The Greek top seed will play second seed Alexander Zverev in Saturday's final after the German got past countryman Dominik Koepfer 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in their semi-final, which was literally rocked by an earthquake.

The broadcast cameras shook mid-point but play continued as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake was registered to the north of Marquelia, which is to the east of Acapulco.

Tsitsipas holds a 5-1 record against Zverev, who is ranked seventh in the world and made last year's US Open final.

"Sascha is someone I've played against in the past and it's never easy. We're both really hungry and we're both very competitive," Tsitsipas said.

The Greek made light work of Musetti, winning five straight games in the opening set after starting at 1-1.

Unforced errors cost Musetti, who had his moments, but Tsitsipas was on song with 17 of 23 winners off his forehand.

Musetti will move into the top 100 of the rankings for the first time on Monday after his breakthrough week.

"We'll definitely see a lot from Lorenzo in the future, he has a wonderful one-handed backhand and creates lots of opportunities. He showed his level this week," Tsitsipas said.

An earthquake hit Acapulco during Alexander Zverev's clash against Dominik Koepfer at the Mexican Open on Friday.

The broadcast camera shook mid-point during the all-German semi-final encounter.

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake was registered to the north of Marquelia, which is to the east of Acapulco.

Zverev went on to secure a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory over Koepfer to reach the final.

World number one Novak Djokovic has joined Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in deciding not to play at the Miami Open, which begins next week.

The Masters 1000 tournament has not been its usual big draw for the leading men this year, and Djokovic becomes the latest high-profile withdrawal.

The 33-year-old Serbian announced he would enjoy some family time rather than travel to the United States, citing the need for balance in his life as coronavirus restrictions affect globe-trotting sports stars.

Miami's total prize fund is said to have been cut from $16.7million in 2019, the last time it was held, to $6.68m this year.

That drastic reduction, reported by the Tennis Majors website, may or may not have been a partial factor in the withdrawals that have dented the top-tier quality in the men's side of the tournament.

The women's event looks like being a full-strength field, while new world number two Daniil Medvedev is set to be the men's top seed, providing he makes the trip.

Djokovic wrote on Twitter: "Dear fans, I'm very sorry to announce that this year I won't travel to Miami to compete.

"I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family. With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home. I look forward to coming back next year!"

Nadal has been bothered by a back problem and cited it earlier this week as the reason for his withdrawal, as he looks to recover full fitness in time for the clay-court season and a crack at winning a 14th French Open title.

The Spaniard's great rival Federer, a fellow 20-time grand slam winner, has only just returned from a year away from the tour after knee surgery, and beat Dan Evans in his first match back at the Qatar Open before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Federer then elected not to play in Dubai and will not be in Miami, where he is the men's reigning champion, having taken the 2019 title. The 2020 tournament was cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Andrey Rublev's ATP 500 winning streak came to an end at the hands of Aslan Karatsev on a history-making day at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Rublev had won 23 consecutive matches at this level, second only to Roger Federer (28), but Karatsev finally ended the Russian's remarkable run to progress to his first ATP singles final.

Karatsev, who incredibly went from qualifying to the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year, defeated his compatriot 6-2 4-6 6-4.

He became the first Wild Card to reach the final since Thomas Muster in 1997, doing so by hitting 41 winners and forcing 16 break points – of which he won four – during two hours and 12 minutes on court.

"It was a really tight match [against a] tough opponent," Karatsev said in his on-court interview.

"It was an unbelievable performance [from Andrey]. He didn't lose a match at an ATP 500 in [one year]. Everything was decided in one or two points, I feel happy."

The championship match will be between two first-time Dubai finalists after Lloyd Harris stunned Denis Shapovalov in the other semi-final.

World number 81 Harris, who overcame top seed Dominic Thiem, 14th seed Filip Krajinovic and former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori to reach the last four, came from a set and 4-2 down to defeat world number 12 Shapovalov.

He prevailed 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to reach a maiden ATP 500 final and become the first qualifier to reach the showpiece in Dubai.

"I don't have many words right now. I am super happy with that win," Harris said on court afterwards.

"Being a set and 2-4 down is mentally and physically a little bit troublesome for me, but I found my best tennis from there. I am just extremely happy with the result right now."

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was made to sweat but got past Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets to reach the Mexican Open semi-finals on Thursday.

World number five Tsitsipas, who was a semi-finalist at last month's Australian Open, defeated seventh seed Auger-Aliassime 7-5 4-6 6-3 in Acapulco.

In a tight contest, back-to-back double faults from Canadian sensation Auger-Aliassime in the eighth game of the third set proved costly as Tsitsipas broke after the pair had held serve throughout the last.

"It got really tight," Tsitsipas said in his post-game interview. "I got a bit lucky with the double faults towards the end of the match.

"I was just persistent. Towards the end I had zoned in 100 per cent. Both of us brought an amazing energy out on the court. Felix is someone I've played a lot and I have huge respect for him."

Greek star Tsitsipas will next play emerging Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti for a spot in the ATP 500 tournament decider.

Qualifier Musetti, who upstaged third seed Diego Schwartzman in the first round, stunned fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the final match of the day.

The 19-year-old Musetti will now contest his maiden ATP 500-level semi-final as he prepares to enter the top 100 on the men's tour after just his fourth main-draw appearance.

Alexander Zverev – the German second seed – progressed to the semi-finals with a walkover after eighth seed Casper Ruud withdrew due to a wrist injury sustained in practice.

Zverev will play countryman Dominik Koepfer in the final four after he defeated Cameron Norrie 7-5 6-4, maintaining his run of not dropping a set all tournament.

Denis Shapovalov secured a straight-sets win over Jeremy Chardy to set up a semi-final showdown with qualifier Lloyd Harris at the Dubai Tennis Championships. 

The third seed struck 26 winners en route to a 7-5 6-4 triumph on Thursday, but it was his serve that pleased him most.

Shapovalov, ranked 12th in the world, sent down 10 aces as Frenchman Chardy was deprived of any break-point openings.

"I've focused on my serve a lot in the past couple of weeks," the Canadian said.

"I have worked on placing it and tried out different types of serves to have more variation. I hope I can continue that.

"I've also worked on my footwork and positioning during rallies. I am feeling the ball well on both sides. If I am moving well, everything goes into place."

Harris was a surprise winner over Kei Nishikori, sealing a 6-1 3-6 6-3 success to dump out the former world number four.

Second seed Andrey Rublev defeated Marton Fucsovics 7-5 6-2 and will now face fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev.

Wildcard Karatsev continued his run with a hard-fought victory over teenager Jannik Sinner, coming from a set down in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2 win.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and fellow star Alexander Zverev progressed to the Mexican Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, but Milos Raonic bowed out.

Tsitsipas was too good for big-serving American John Isner in a 6-3 6-2 victory in Acapulco midweek.

A two-time Australian Open finalist, having also reached the French Open final four last year, Tsitsipas excelled on serve against Isner.

Greek star Tsitsipas only dropped one point on his first serve – not facing a break point throughout the last-16 contest – while firing down eight aces.

Standing in the way of Tsitsipas and a semi-final spot at the ATP 500 tournament is Canadian sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime.

In a battle of the NextGen, seventh seed Auger-Aliassime saved four of five break points in a 6-3 6-4 win over wild card Sebastian Korda.

Zverev will feature in his third Mexican Open quarter-final in four years after the second seed took down Laslo Djere 6-4 6-3.

Runner-up in 2019, Zverev will next face eighth seed Casper Ruud – who topped Tallon Griekspoor 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in the quarters.

"I think today what showed the most is that I got better with the match," Zverev said. "I started off extremely sloppy, started off with a lot of unforced errors.

"The longer the match went on the better I started playing and this is something that is very important for me. When I get into a rhythm I feel very comfortable on court and that's how I felt today."

Elsewhere, Lorenzo Musetti's giant-slaying run continued following a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory against Frances Tiafoe.

Musetti earned his first ATP 500 quarter-final as the Italian prepares to meet fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who eased past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 6-2.

There was an upset after fourth seed Raonic crashed out 6-4 6-2 at the hands of Dominik Koepfer, while sixth seed Fabio Fognini lost 6-4 6-3 against Cameron Norrie.

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