Dan Evans‘ Miami charge came to an early halt after a fantastic performance from Frances Tiafoe. The American was one of the dangerous unseeded players in the draw and reached the Miami Open quarterfinals at the last event in 2019.
The first set saw a high level of tennis played throughout as both players imposed themselves on the match. With the pair hitting the ball so cleanly, a tiebreak was needed to separate the two. Evans played the big points well and some sublime shots helped him win the breaker 7-5.
Tiafoe began to loosen up in the second, winding up on his groundstrokes and making the Brit cover an awful lot of ground. The American was handling the contest extremely well, going up a break in the second set. Some fine returning in the ninth game clinched the double break and more importantly, the set.
The 23-year-old demonstrated some incredible counter-punching prowess to gain the advantage in the decider. The American broke in the eighth game of the third thanks to more great defence. Tiafoe served out the contest to love to reach the third round in Miami for the third time.
Liam Broadyalso went the distance but was ultimately outclassed by his higher ranked opponent. The contest was Broady’s third ever match at Masters 1000s level. Both players competed well in the opener, serving strongly and striking the ball cleanly from the baseline. A clear contrast of styles was on full display as Broady attempted to neutralise Miomir Kecmanovic‘s heavy groundstrokes. It was the Serb who secured the break late on to take a one set lead.
The high intensity continued into the second, with the pair desperately trying to stamp their authority on the match. A tiebreak was needed to decide the set and it was the Brit who managed his game the best with the pressure firmly on. Broady rallied his way back into the match, winning the tiebreak 7-5.
The third set was quite a contrast to the first two as Broady faded away rather quickly. The Serb hit freely from the back of the court and ran away with it in the end: 6-1 in the decider.
Jack Draper‘s main tour debut got off to a nightmare start as he was forced to retire after just a set. The teenager collapsed on court due to heat exhaustion.
Prior to the retirement, Draper had been playing some good tennis and kept it close with his much more experienced opponent. Medics checked the Brit’s heart rate at 6-5 as he was visibly suffering, but then he collapsed a game later on set point when attempting to hit a backhand. Draper retired afterwards, although he was able to leave the court unaided.
The Miami Open takes place between 23 March to 4 April.
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