Miami | Murray and Norrie keep British hopes alive

Another long rain delay hit the Miami Master programme on Saturday. This time it was just over three hours late before the outside courts were safe enough to use while the main Stadium Court required an additional 30-minutes before deemed dry to play on.

Miami has been like my tennis home really. I've done so much of my work and training and preparation here, and I love the city - and this is my last time playing here, so it's nice to get another opportunity Andy Murray

By the end of the day 22 matches had been completed leaving eight spaces to still be filled in the second-round column of the draw on Sunday when the schedule should get back on track.

From a British perspective, two of the four who made round two, didn’t progress any further so only Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie are left to continue flying the flag.

For the 36-year-old Murray, a former two-time champion in Miami, his 7-6(0) 6-3 victory over the 29th seed from Argentina, Tomas Martin Etcheverry, is the first time this season, that he has been able to successfully put successive wins together at an event.

The match had been suspended following Friday’s deluge with the score standing at 3-3, but on resumption, Murray managed to keep up his brilliant form to dispatch the player who had defeated him in Melbourne last January at the Australian Open.

The second set was just as tight but Murray held his nerve saving all seen break points he faced in an aggressive performance for a very positive straight sets victory after two-hours, 16-minutes.

His delight at the win was reflected in the roar he gave after the winning stroke, the air punches and the high-fives he gave his team all before he shook hands with his opponent at the net!

He next faces the Czech Tomas Machac, the world No.60, who took out the fifth seeded Andrey Rublev on Friday in one of the only two matches completed on that badly rain affected day.

“Miami has been like my tennis home really. I’ve done so much of my work and training and preparation here, and I love the city – and this is my last time playing here, so it’s nice to get another opportunity,” he said.

Jack Draper playing the first match on Court 2, struggled in the Florida humidity after keeping pace with the 22nd seed Nicolas Jarry of Chile for the best part of the three-hour, 35-minute encounter, eventually conceding the match 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(2).

After the pair held for most of the opening set, Draper finally earned break point against his 6ft 6in opponent in the eighth game.

He sealed the break point to earn himself the chance to serve for the opener, but Jarry immediately hit back with a break of his own following a string of costly errors from the 22-year-old Brit.

In the tiebreak Draper fought from 3-1 behind to draw level at 5-all, the Chilean narrowly wrapped up the opening set for the early advantage.

Draper fought back to level the match but his level of energy could be seen to be waning.

However, he battled through the third set and even led 5-4, 40-15 at one stage before running out of steam.

He managed to hold on to take the set to another tiebreak, but that proved to be the end of his challenge as Jarry wrapped it all up.

Also out following a two-hour, 40-minute battling performance, is Dan Evans who was beaten by the 31st seeded Chris Eubanks of the States, 7-6(3) 3-6 7-6(7) who hit 21 aces in the process.

Cameron Norrie was taken to three sets

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

Cameron Norrie, Britain’s No.1 seeded at 30, was also forced into a three-set match by Flavio Cobolli but eventually, claimed his place in the third round after two-hours and 34-minuts, 7-5 6-7(4) 6-2

The 21-year-old Italian but up a dogged performance as he fended off three match points in the second set to force a decider where Norrie imposed himself strongly to claim the match and a meeting with the defending champion, Daniil Medvedev, who opened his own campaign with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

Meanwhile, it was a day to forget for America’s hopeful trio of Taylor Fritz, Francis Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, who all bowed out.

Home favourite Taylor Fritz was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild, while Tiafoe also lost in straight sets but tighter contest, to Australian Christopher O’Connell 7-5 7-6(5).

Paul was forced to retire after he pulled up with an injury in the second set of his match with Martin Damm having taken the opening set. He threw in the towel with the score standing at 4-6 2-1 in favour of his wildcarded compatriot.

Elsewhere, Stefanos Tsitsipas was also on the wrong side of a straight-set result, as Canada’s Denis Shapovalov continued to regain his form to progress 6-2 6-4.

Top 10 player Casper Ruud needed three sets to get past Frenchman Luca Van Assche 7-6(5) 1-6 6-1 while the top seeded Carlos Acaraz, romped through into the third round with a 6-2 6-1 win over his Spanish compatriot Roberto Carvalles Baena.



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