Sinner survives five match points in Miami, Gauff and Norrie advance

Tennis – ATP 500 – Abierto Mexicano – The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico – February 26, 2022 Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Henry Romero

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March 27 (Reuters) – Jannik Sinner saved five match points before passing Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 5-7 7-5 7-5 in the third round of the Miami Open on Sunday, while the second seed Alexander Zverev had a much smoother path to the last 16.

Carreno Busta had Sinner on the ropes in the 10th game of the second set, almost breaking him for the game before the Italian recovered to hold serve and convert on a chance in the next game.

They traded breaks in the third before a marathon 10th game in which the Spaniard nearly beat his opponent to victory four times.

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World number 11 Sinner survived and converted on a chance in the next game to take the lead. Serving for the match, he won the deal with a forehand winner as the crowd stood and cheered.

The 2021 runner-up next faces Australian Nick Kyrgios, who put up a clinical performance against Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-4, dropping just five points on first serve.

Zverev made short work of American Mackenzie McDonald, winning 6-2 6-2 in 73 minutes to set up a last 16 encounter with Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who rode through a close fight against Denis Kudla 7 -6 (5) 4-6 7 -6(4).

Francisco Cerundolo also reached the next round, which beat Gael Monfils 6-2 6-3, but that was the end of the road for his younger brother, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, who lost 6-3 6-2 to Frances Tiafoe.

GAUFF ADVANCED

American Coco Gauff kept her bid for a maiden WTA 1000 title alive, firing five aces to defeat China’s Zhang Shuai 7-6(1) 7-5.

“I was hanging on mentally. I wasn’t playing my best,” Gauff told reporters. “I knew it was going to be a tough game, and I was glad I was able to pull it off today.”

British number one Cameron Norrie overcame a slow start to beat Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-3 7-5.

Norrie, who triumphed at Indian Wells last year and won at Delray Beach five weeks ago, opened the contest by dropping serve but kept his cool as three break points were begged during of the next game before finally converting the fourth.

Norrie fired his seventh ace on his eighth match point to set up a meeting with world number eight Casper Ruud, who has beaten the Briton in their previous two encounters.

Ruud dispatched Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-2 in less than an hour and had the best place in the house when his Kazakh opponent produced a shot worthy of the highlights in the second set.

Bublik flipped his racquet and hit an overhead shot with the grip.

“You’ll be on Tennis TV as always,” Ruud joked to Bublik.

Spain’s fifth seed Paula Badosa cruised to a 6-3 6-2 win over Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva, who was so frustrated with her display that she slammed her racket into the ground with such force that it flew back and almost hit her.

Last year’s Indian Wells champion Badosa next faces 16-year-old Czech wildcard Linda Fruhvirtova, who qualified after former world number one Victoria Azarenka pulled out midway through the second set.

Fruhvirtova was leading 6-2 3-0 when Azarenka informed the chair umpire she was finished and left the field quickly.

“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Fruhvirtova said on the pitch. “It’s what I’ve always dreamed of, playing in these big stadiums in front of so many people.

“It’s definitely a dream come true.”

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Reporting by Amy Tennery; Additional reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Pritha Sarkar, Karishma Singh, Peter Rutherford

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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