The top six seeded players in action took the drama out of the Miami Open on Friday, each cruising to a straight-set win in the second round.
Leading the charge was No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who needed just 66 minutes to shrug off Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 6-0, 6-2.
Third-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway crushed Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 6-3, and sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia ousted the United States’ J.J. Wolf 7-6 (3), 6-4. Seventh-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark downed Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 7-5, and ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz won 6-4, 6-1 in an all-U.S. matchup against Emilio Nava.
Tenth-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy defeated Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-2.
Alcaraz was playing for the first time since winning a tournament championship in Indian Wells, Calif., on Sunday to reclaim the world’s No. 1 ranking. He (and the rest of the top 32 seeds) had a first-round bye in Miami.
“I knew that I needed to be focused for my first match,” Alcaraz said. “To start a new tournament is never easy, (and in) different conditions. I have to be ready to get used to these new conditions, but I was really focused on the match from the beginning, and I’m happy with the way that I played. I try to improve every day.”
Contrasting Miami to Indian Wells, Alcaraz said, “The court is faster (here), there is more humidity. Let’s say it’s a little bit tougher, too, to get used to the conditions in a short period of days. For me, it’s a totally different tournament.”
Ruud, won lost the Miami Open final to Alcaraz last year, recorded just his fifth win in 10 matches this year on Friday.
“I want to believe one match will turn it around but there are still a lot of matches to be played with a lot of good players left in the tournament,” Ruud said. “It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve played a match after taking an early loss in Indian Wells. I worked hard and came into Miami with great memories from last year.”
Other second-round winners were No. 16 Tommy Paul of the United States, No. 20 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain, No. 21 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, No. 24 Denis Shapovalov of Canada, No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands, No. 29 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, No. 31 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, Taro Daniel of Japan, Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.
–Field Level Media