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Ilya Ivashka earns all-tiebreaker win at Miami Open

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Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2021-03-26

Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka saved two match points and emerged with a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) win over South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon on Thursday in the first round of the Miami Open.

In a match that lasted 3 hours, 19 minutes, Kwon had two chances to seal a victory at 4-5 of the third set. However, Ivashka won both points and the game, then pulled away in the final tiebreaker.

Ivashka wound up with a 20-3 edge in aces, and Kwon committed nine double faults to Ivashka’s three. The Belarusian advances to a second-round matchup against sixth-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Floridian Sebastian Korda had a much easier time in his opening match, routing Moldova’s Radu Albot 6-3, 6-0 in 77 minutes.

Korda saved all five break points he faced in the evening match.

“I love playing at night,” Korda said to the ATP Tour’s website. “I’ve only played two day matches this whole year. I love playing at night, and I love playing in South Florida. I’m super pleased with how I played today.”

Korda will next face 10th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini.

“I’ve been watching him since I was a kid, so it’s going to be a fun match,” Korda, 20, said of Fognini, 33. “I’ll play him in doubles (Friday), and hopefully I get a little feel for his game and hopefully get ready for (the singles match) Saturday.”

Another Italian, Lorenzo Musetti, continued his strong run with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over American wild-card entrant Michael Mmoh. Last week, Musetti reached the main draw of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, Mexico, as a qualifier, then beat third-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina and fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria en route to the semifinals. His run ended with a loss to top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“Last week was a fantastic run in Acapulco,” Musetti said postmatch Thursday. “Michael, I knew he was a great opponent. I played a really good match, it was a tough match. (It was) really intense and I really enjoyed (playing) here. I’m really happy.”

Americans Denis Kudla, Bjorn Fratangelo and Tennys Sandgren also advanced Monday, as did Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia will play his tournament opener Friday against Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu. Third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany will open against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, and 18th-seeded John Isner has an all-American matchup against Mackenzie McDonald.

–Field Level Media

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