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Greece

Tsitsipas Wins in 1st Action in Miami Open, Andreescu Hurt

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 at the Miami Open on Monday, the Greek’s first on-court action after a bye and walkover in the opening rounds.

In women’s competition, 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada left the court in a wheelchair due to a lower left leg injury in the second set of her night match against 18th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova. There was no immediate word on the nature of the 22-year-old’s injury or its severity.

Andreescu was trailing in the match when, moving across the baseline, she fell to the court, clutching her lower left leg and screaming. A short time later, she was wheeled off to a standing ovation.

Andreescu had dropped the first set 7-6 (7) and was mounting a comeback, winning the first two games of the second set when she was forced to retire, allowing Alexandrova to advance.

Earlier in the day, Tsitsipas had 12 aces in his first victory since an opening-round win in Rotterdam over Emil Ruusuvuori in mid-February. He ran his record to 3-0 against Garin, who was attempting to become the first Chilean player to reach the fourth round in Miami since Fernando Gonzalez in 2010.

After losing the first set, Garin won eight straight points late in the second to force a decisive third. Tsitsipas had a critical break at 4-all in the final set and advanced.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns to Cristian Garin of Chile during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Tsitsipas, who withdrew from Acapulco due to a shoulder injury and lost in the opening round in Indian Wells, overcame 21 unforced errors in his first match of the tournament.

“I was waiting for a very long time to get out and play,” Tsitsipas said, according to the ATP Tour website. “It has almost felt like a vacation this past week, staying in Miami. I’m glad I got started. It was a difficult match against an opponent who has played good tennis against good opponents in the past.

“I am happy with the way things turned around and my confidence towards the end. I had an eye-on-the-prize attitude and it was effective with how I played in the last game when he was serving.”

Tsitsipas will take on Karen Khachanov, who eased past Czech Jiri Lehecka 6-2, 6-4, in a round-of-16 match on Tuesday.

In other action, Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina surprised sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-2, 7-5. Cerundolo, a semifinalist in Miami last year, has faced Auger-Aliassime in third-round matches of every ATP Masters 1000 or Grand Slam event this year — all won by the Canadian.

Cerundolo said he fed off the energy of the crowd.

“Super happy to get another top-10 win, another important win for me,” he said. “I think I played really good from beginning to end. Super nice to play here. A lot of Argentinian, Latin people. … Last year was amazing. So I’m really excited to be in the round of 16 again and try to keep winning.”

Cerundolo advanced to face Italy’s Lorenzo Soneog, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over No. 12 seed Frances Tiafoe in one of the night matches slowed by a nearly two-hour rain delay.

American Chris Eubanks also endured the nearly two-hour delay on the way to a milestone win over Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 6-3, 7-6 (9). He rallied from a 2-6 deficit in the second set and piled up a 12-1 edge in aces in the win. With the victory, the 26-year-old Eubanks, a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech, was assured of moving into the top 100 when the new rankings are released Monday.

Also on Monday, Quentin Halys of France eliminated American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6 (7), 6-3. Halys will face fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who advanced in a walkover. Adrian Mannarino of France beat Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7) and will take on Eubanks on Tuesday.

In other women’s action, world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus defeated Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in straight sets in a match that started at 10:45 p.m. because of the two-hour rain delay. Sabalenka prevailed 6-3, 6-2 for her 20th win of the year and will face Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

American Jessica Pegula, the No. 3 seed, dispatched Poland’s Magda Linette 6-1, 7-5. Pegula advanced to face 27th-seeded Anastasia Potapova, a 6-4, 7-6 (7) winner over Qinwen Zheng, in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

The 29-year-old Pegula raced to a five-game lead in the opening set against Linette and then found herself tied at 5-all in the second set before closing out the win.

“I think after 5-2, I don’t know what I was doing,” she said. “It was, like … The changeover before that I switched racquets because I thought maybe the ball was flying on me a little bit. It didn’t feel very good. Switched back to the old racquet and I won the next five games.

“I don’t know why that happened, but sometimes it does. I was mad at myself that I switched racquets in the first place because it was only one break. But we got through that little mental battle I had with myself, and I was able to play very well.”

In a fourth-round matches, 10th-seeded Elena Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion who won the title at Indian Wells last weekend, fired off 10 aces and made short work of Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-4, 6-3. Rybakina will face Martina Trevisan of Italy in the quarterfinals.

Trevisan eliminated Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-3.

Also, Petra Kvitova beat Varvara Gracheva 7-5, 7-6 (7) and advanced to face Alexandrova in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Cirstea topped Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (7), 6-4.

 

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