ATP

Hurkacz survives marathon battle against Kokkinakis, Medvedev cruises into Miami Open third round

By Sports Desk March 25, 2023

Hubert Hurkacz prevailed 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (8-6) in a thrilling three-and-a-half hour battle against Thanasi Kokkinakis during Saturday's second round of the Miami Open.

It was Hurkacz's first match of the tournament after the eighth seed received a bye through the first round, and he came up against a match-fit Kokkinakis after the Australian went three sets in his opening victory.

The world number nine had to save five Kokkinakis match points before sealing the win with his first chance, three hours and 34 minutes after the contest began.

Kokkinakis was not the only Australian on the day to go down in a gruelling three-setter as 15th seed Alex De Minaur fell 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) to Quentin Halys in three hours and 20 minutes.

It was far smoother sailing for fourth seed Daniil Medvedev in his 6-1 6-2 triumph over Roberto Carballes Baena, giving the Russian his first win since his 19-match unbeaten streak was ended at the hands of Carlos Alcaraz in the Indian Wells Open final.

The biggest upset of the day came from France's Gregoire Barrere as he eliminated 11th seed Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-2, before Adrian Mannarino ensured a great day for the French contingent with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 result against Ben Shelton in the late window.

Fifth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime needed a pair of tiebreakers to dispatch Brazil's Thiago Monteiro 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (10-8), while big-serving 19th seed Matteo Berrettini came out on the wrong side of some tiebreakers in his 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-5) loss to Mackenzie McDonald.

The skid from 18th seed Lorenzo Musetti continued as the 21-year-old went down 6-4 6-4 to Jiri Lehecka, giving the Italian seven losses from his past eight matches.

Karen Khachanov fought off the challenge of recent Chile Open finalist Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-1 3-6 6-3, and second seed Stefanos Tsisipas received a walkover as Richard Gasquet withdrew.

Related items

  • Nadal unlikely to play Wimbledon, focusing on Olympics Nadal unlikely to play Wimbledon, focusing on Olympics

    Rafael Nadal is unlikely to appear at Wimbledon in July, with the Olympic Games his focus following his early exit from the French Open.

    Nadal played what is likely to be his final match at the French Open – where he has won a record 14 titles – on Monday as he suffered a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 first-round loss to Alexander Zverev.

    The Spaniard has repeatedly suggested he will call time on his glittering career at the end of 2024, having been hamstrung by hip and abdominal injuries in recent years.

    Nadal previously said he wished to make farewell appearances at each grand slam, but he now believes transitioning to grass before Wimbledon will be difficult.

    "For me now it looks difficult to make a transition to grass, then having the Olympics again on clay," Nadal said. "I cannot confirm anything. I need to talk with the team and analyse facts.

    "But I don't think it's going to be smart after all the things that happened to my body to make a big transition to a completely different surface and then come back immediately to clay."

    However, Nadal's participation at the Olympics – where the tennis tournaments will be held at Roland Garros – is subject to his fitness.

    If he is able to play, Nadal – a two-time Olympic gold medallist – hopes to play doubles with world number three Carlos Alcaraz. 

    "I cannot tell you if I will be playing or not in one month and a half, because my body has been a jungle for two years," he added.

    "You don't know what to expect. I wake up one day and I found a snake biting me. Another day a tiger."

    Asked about the prospect of teaming up with Alcaraz, he said: "If everything goes well, we are going to play doubles together here."

  • Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph

    Daniil Medvedev staved off a Dominik Koepfer fightback to record a battling victory in the French Open first round on Monday.

    The world number five raced out the blocks on Court Simonne-Mathieu and eventually triumphed 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-3 in Paris.

    Medvedev, a five-time major runner-up and 2021 US Open champion, broke Koepfer's first service game in the French capital with that a seeming sign of things to come.

    Though the 28-year-old dropped his serve in the first set, Medvedev had little trouble in responding with the score finely poised at 3-2 to claim first blood at Roland-Garros.

    The fifth seed has only ever gone as far as the quarter-finals, three years ago, at the French Open but showed his clinical best to snatch the second set after holding all six service games for a narrow triumph.

    World number 65 Koepfer battled back in the third but the resilient Medvedev responded by breaking his German opponent early in the fourth set, finally securing victory in just over three hours.

    Data Debrief: Medvedev gets better of Koepfer again

    Medvedev has won all four of his meetings with Koepfer, with his most recent such victory seeing him reach the second round at Roland-Garros for the third time in eight attempts.

    Since the start of the 2021 season, Medvedev is 27-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only loss in that run coming against Seyboth Wild in the French Open first round last year.

    Koepfer, meanwhile, extends to 1-17 against top-10 players in his career, earning his only such victory against over Gael Monfils – then ranked ninth in the world – at the 2020 ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

  • Sakkari crashes out in French Open first round after Gracheva upset Sakkari crashes out in French Open first round after Gracheva upset

    Varvara Gracheva produced an eye-catching upset after sending Maria Sakkari crashing out of the French Open on Monday.

    World number 88 Gracheva battled to a 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory on Court Simonne-Mathieu, claiming a notable Roland-Garros scalp in the first round.

    Gracheva clinched five of six break points in an impressive fightback after falling a set down in Paris to sixth seed Sakkari.

    Her reward will be a second-round meeting with Bernarda Pera, who overcame Japan's Nao Hibino in straight sets on the same day.

    Data Debrief: Gracheva earns top-10 scalp

    Gracheva will be bidding to make the third round in Paris for the third time in her career after Sakkari became the first big-name exit in the women's draw.

    This victory against world number eight Sakkari marked Gracheva's fourth top-10 win in her career, and second win against such opponents in major events.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.