Canada’s Auger-Aliassime drops one other shut match to Isner at Miami Open

MIAMI โ€” Hobbled by cramps, top-ranked Daniil Medvedev limped by means of the ultimate few video games Sunday to edge Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (3), 6-7 (7) 6-4 within the third spherical on the Miami Open.

Medvedev didn’t convert three match factors within the second set after taking a 5-2 lead. An hour later the Russian was nonetheless taking part in, and on a moist afternoon with temperatures within the mid 80s, he paid the value.

He broke within the last set for a 4-3 lead, however by then he may barely stroll, a lot much less run. To maintain the rallies brief, Medvedev started hitting high-risk pictures, and made sufficient of them to shut out the two 1/2-hour match.

When Popyrin misfired on a backhand on the ultimate level, Medvedev shuffled to the web with a smile that changed into a wince. He’ll have two days to get better earlier than his fourth-round match.

John Isner by no means had a break-point alternative and gained anyway, which is the sort of feat typical of John Isner. The massive American with the large serve hit 16 aces and edged No. 11-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).

That made it 4 consecutive units Isner has gained by tiebreaker in opposition to Auger-Aliassime in Miami. The rating after they met within the 2019 semifinal was 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

Within the rematch, neither participant had a break level, which meant the end result was decided by a handful of pictures. Isner likes such matches _ generally.

“I take pleasure in it after I win,” he mentioned. “It is irritating while you lose a match that comes all the way down to level right here or there, and a variety of instances that is how it’s for me. I may very simply be speaking now as a loser and be going house.”

Mentioned Auger-Aliassime: “I assume 6 and 6 is a fairly widespread rating in opposition to John. It slipped out of my palms. It was an in depth one.”

On the ladies’s aspect, Naomi Osaka superior to the fourth spherical at Miami for the primary time in her profession when qualifier Nina Stojanovic withdrew from their match shortly earlier than the scheduled begin due to a proper thigh harm.

Osaka, ranked No. 2, has gained 22 consecutive matches since her most up-to-date defeat in February 2020, and he or she earned her fourth Grand Slam title on the Australian Open final month. However in Miami, the place she is making her fifth look, she has beforehand made early exits.

She’ll subsequent face No. 16 Elise Mertens, who gained a seesaw match in opposition to No. 22 Anett Kontaveit, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2. No. 29 Jessica Pegula defeated No. 6 Karolina Pliskova for the third time this yr, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

In different males’s play, No. 7 Roberto Bautista Agut rallied previous No. 31 Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Bautista Agut will face Isner subsequent.

“I will need to play effectively if I will have any probability of beating him,” Isner mentioned. “He is too stable if I do not.”

Isner, who gained the largest title of his 14-year tour profession in Miami in 2018, took the courtroom at noon in sunny, heat, muggy climate _ the kind that appears to convey out his greatest tennis.

“These circumstances are good for me,” he mentioned. “I knew on the very worst I used to be going to have the ability to make it an in depth match and make it come down to some factors, and that was the case.”

Within the second tiebreaker, the 6-foot-10 American bent all the way down to hit a deft drop volley for a winner to make it 5-all. With Auger-Aliassime serving at 5-6, Isner prevailed in a 13-shot trade โ€” a rarity within the serve-dominated match โ€” when the Canadian sailed a forehand lengthy.

Solely 5 different rallies lasted 10 pictures or extra.

“Probably the greatest factors I performed all match,” Isner mentioned.

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