Thanks to a bye and a second round walk-over, the second seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas finally got his Miami Open Masters campaign off the ground though Cristian Garin took full advantage of his lack of matches by taking him the full distance, the only match on Monday’s men’s schedule to go to three.
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. Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Greek star eventually won 6-3 4-6 6-4 after two-hours and four-minutes hitting 12 aces and 31 winners whilst suffering just one break in that second set to the Chilean qualifier
“I was waiting for a very long time to get out and play,” Tsitsipas said. “It has almost felt like a vacation this past week, staying in Miami. 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.”
He returns tomorrow to face Russian big hitter Karen Khachanov who cruised past the Czeck Jiri Lehecka 6-2 6-4.
In a battle of former Miami semi-finalists, Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo, seeded 25, ousted the fifth seeded, Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-2 7-5 in what was the upset of the day. The Canadian was broken five times and failed to convert a break point when Cerundolo was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime won just eight points on his second serve in what proved to be a poor serving display.
“I’m very happy to be back again in the round of 16 here, in a Masters 1000, here in Miami,” said Cerundolo who lost to the Canadian at Indian Wells. “I’m super happy that I’m playing as well as last year, super happy with my level, and [hope] to keep going.”
Other matches saw Frenchman Adrian Mannarino also produced an upset by downing the former tournament winner and 8th seed, Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5) 7-6(0) while Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego upended the 12th-seeded Frances Tiafoe of the US 6-3 6-4. The two had to leave the court for a two-hour rain-break with the Italian leading 3-2 in the second.
uentin Halys of France dismissed Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(2) 6-3 but his American compatriot, qualifier Christopher Eubanks, got the best of another Frenchman Gregoire Barrere in straight sets by recovering from 6-2 down in the second set tie-break and squeeze through 6-3 7-6(7). For the 26-year-old Eubanks, it’s his best result at an ATP event and lifts him into the top 100 for the first time in his career.
“I’m just going to focus on playing every single match and I did that,” Eubanks said of his current run before choking up with emotion inside the bowels of the Hard Rock Stadium. “Wow, it feels good. It feels good.
“Damn it’s crazy man,” he continued as tears welled in his eyes.. “Wow this is weird. Sorry, it’s just wild.
“Why am I crying? This is so embarrassing! But no, it feels good.”
The Tuesday schedule includes all fourth- round play led by defending champion Carlos Alcaraz who takes on Australian Open semi-finalist Tommy Paul who has won their only previous meeting.
Daniil Medvedev, who had a walk-over into the last 16, returns to meet Quentin Halys; Andrey Rublev takes on Jannik Sinner in what should be an intriguing encounter; the Danish teenager Holger Rune will battles with home favourite Taylor Fritz; Francisco Cerundolo clashes with Lorenzo Sonego; Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp squares off against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in a North European battle and American qualifier Christopher Eubanks takes on the lefty Adrian Mannarino of France..