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Nick Kyrgios continues upset spree at Miami Open

Sportsnaut
Mar 23, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Nick Kyrgios (AUS) hits a forehand against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) (not pictured) in a first round men's singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Kyrgios beat a top-10-ranked player for the third time in his past two tournaments, defeating fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-3, 6-0 on Friday in the second round of the Miami Open.

The wild-card entrant from Australia is ranked 102nd in the world, but he is coming off a run to the quarterfinals at Indian Wells, Calif., in which he beat then-No. 8 Casper Ruud of Norway and then-No. 10 Jannik Sinner of Italy before falling to then-No. 4 Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Kyrgios needed just 52 minutes to finish of Rublev, as he fired 10 aces without a double fault. Kyrgios lost his second just once — to fall behind 2-1 in the first set — but he converted five of his seven break points.

“He came out hot at the start and that’s tennis,” Kyrgios said of Rublev. “A couple points could swing a momentum change like that, and once I got that double break, I started seeing the return really well.

“I’ve been returning well the past four months, and I guess when that’s happening, I’m serving the way I’m serving, I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, my shoulders open up and I just ran with it.”

Next up for Kyrgios is a third-round match against 31st-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy. Fognini eked out a 6-7 (1), 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel, who was serving for the match at 6-5 in the third set but couldn’t close it out.

Second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany was pushed before advancing past Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Ruud routed Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-2, and Sinner saved three match points to defeat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8).

“It was a tough match today,” Sinner told ATPTour.com. “I was a little bit lucky, because 7-6 in the third you need some luck, also. I think he played very well, especially from the second set on. I tried to deal with the conditions, I tried to fight with what I had today and I am very happy about the win.”

Also advancing to the third round were 10th-seeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, 17th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, 22th-seeded Gael Monfils of France, 30th-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis, France’s Hugo Gaston and Argentinian brothers Juan Manuel Cerundolo and Francisco Cerundolo.

–Field Level Media