03/29/2023 7:24 am Updated at 03/29/2023 7:46 am
Neither the rain nor the delay in programming and the change of the court in the round of 16 Masters M in Miami were enough to stop the important thing that Francis Cerúndolo (31st) is experiencing. Despite the negative start, Argentina won 3-6, 6-3 and 6-2 against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (59th) – already in the dawn, thus achieving his second best victory in 2023 to enter the second consecutive year. the quarterfinals of the Florida tournament, where they reached the semifinals. Now he will have a difficult stop, he will face the Russian Karen Khachanov (16th).
In Argentina, Cerúndolo won his third victory at the Miami Open and is in the quarterfinals. (AFP)
In his short career playing Masters M, Cerúndolo showed that he felt comfortable at the Miami Open. Already in the previous edition, the Buenos Aires native had entered the top four matches before falling to Norwegian Casper Ruud (8th). But the start of this 2023 was not the best for Fran, who, although Diego Schwartzman (38th) was upset as the best Argentine net, accumulated eight defeats. Despite his bad run, the eldest of the brothers showed a high performance in the American tournament, where he came to beat none other than the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (6th) in the third round, to get the first victory of his career. a Top 10 in the courts quickly.
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His duel against Lorenzo Sonego (59th) does not start well. The meeting started at 8:00 am and ended around 11:00 am, after the change of court. “The wait is very hard. I spent five hours sitting in the players’ room,” Cerundolo described. Despite the complications, the 24-year-old Argentine started well, even breaking to take a 3-2 lead in the first set. But the 27-year-old was carried by Tano and in a few minutes, he not only recovered the break, but also won four games in a row to win the first 6-3 in 40 minutes. A hard blow for Fran, who managed to change the history of the match after the first rise.
In the previous round, Cerundolo was avenged and Aliassime, his butcher, was avenged in Australia and in the Indian Wells. (AFP)
Already in the second set, the champion of Bastad (unless he won his ATP title in 2022) opened the set by winning four games in a row, an advantage that he would reach to match -already after 1 morning in Argentina. instead of defining it in the final set. As the second, the third row started to break in the first game, a situation that is replicated in the fifth (where Cerundolo converted the fifth part of the match) to take the lead with a 4-1 sound, which later. he ended up scoring 6. -2 to seal his third victory of the tournament in 2h02m of play. “It took me a long time to get used to the matches, but in the second and third sets I adapted very well and had a great fight,” Fran said in a press conference after the great victory, in the 11th year.
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One step vs. Khachanov
This Thursday, Argentina again enters the great instances of the Masters 1000 in which it defends 360 points for the semifinals of next year. In the case of not replicating the instance of 2022, Fran will lose 180 units and will be defeated in the order by his compatriot Sebastián Báez (33rd), already eliminated. Porteño will have a difficult stop against the Russian Karen Khachanov (16th), who just destroyed the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd), the second favorite in the tournament after the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz (1st), in the previous round. The duel of the quarters between Cerundolo and Muscovites – who have met only once in the Canadian Masters 2022 with the victory of the Russian – will be a meeting at 2:00 am that will be broadcast on both ESPN and the Star.
In their round of 16 duel, Khachanov eliminated Tsitsipas, ending a 23-game losing streak against the Top 10. (REUTERS)
“Khachanov is the most perfect player, he is the longest, he serves the best and he hits the hardest. In addition, he defends very well, long sweeps, many balls, he wants to fight, war,” said the man from Buenos Aires, referring to his duel. “I have already lost once (in Canada). a tough fight He is playing very well, but I have to focus on my game. If I continue to play the way I played, I have faith” Cerúndolo in an interview published before the match against the Australian Open semifinal. The winner of the match will enter the heads of the four second masters of the first 1000 times, Indiana Wells, won by Alcaraz and the winner of the heads between the Russians Daniil Medvedev (5th) and Yankee Christopher Eubanks (119th) play.