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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday March 26, 2021


Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori looked to be down and out early against third-seeded Alexander Zverev on Friday, but the talented Finn turned the match on its ear and ran away with a 1-6 6-3 6-1 victory to book his spot in the third round of the Miami Open.

Tennis Express


On a hut, muggy day, both players were languishing for the better part of the first set, but Ruusuvuori found his purple patch in the second set and earned 15 break opportunities in the middle set, converting four.

The third set was on serve through the first two games but the World No.83, behind some aggressive tactics and polished net play, took the play to Zverev and ran away with the final five games to claim the final five games.

“The conditions here are really slow,” Ruusuvuori told reporters after the match. “I was just making way too many mistakes in the first set and trying to play too fast. I mean, he's a really good mover. He puts so many balls back. I was just missing too much but slowly got my way into the match and started making more balls and just tough rallies. Then in the third I was just playing good tennis and making good choices. That was the key. Also the serve, I served better in the third set, so of course that helps as well.”


Zverev, last week’s Acupulco champion, was taped up in many places, including his right arm and left shoulder. He appeared at times to lack the energy necessary to fend off the young upstart, but it was Ruusuvuori who seized the match courageously and made sure he finished strong.

“Of course I'm really proud that I got the win,” he said. “So, yeah, just doing things right like making the changes. I didn't start well today and just making the changes. Then mentally was pretty good in the end, so that's something I can be proud of.”

Medvedev Motors, Dimitrov ousted

Playing his first career match as World No.2, Daniil Medvedev was ruthless in taking out Yen-Hsun Lu, 6-2 6-2. The Russian stalwart will face Alexei Popyrin, the 21-year-old Aussie who knocked off Reilly Opelka on Friday.

“He's a great player,” Medvedev said of the Australian. “You know, I think still young, still coming up. Great strokes, great serve. Solid baseline player, but he can go to the net, hit winners from all corners of the court. Really great player. It's going to be a tough match. Looking forward to it. I feel good here in Miami. So again, if I play good it's tough to beat me, and I think he knows that also.”

Grigor Dimitrov lost his energy and wilted in the heat against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, falling 7-5 7-5, while Jannik Sinner advanced to the third round with a 6-2 6-2 win over France’s Hugo Gaston.

James Duckworth snapped a 15-match losing streak against Top 20 players by defeating David Goffin 6-3, 6-1, while Roberto Bautista Agut advanced as Lloyd Harris pulled out with a wrist injury.

 

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