Kecmanovic surprises Auger-Aliassime, ahead of Bautista and Hurkacz

M. Kecmanovic b. [7] F. Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-2 (Pilgrim of the Year)

Serbian tennis player Miomir Kecmanovic, executioner of Berrettini’s Indian Wells, places another bang on the North American concrete by beating the n. 9 of the Canadian world Felix Auger-Aliassime for 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 35 minutes.

It starts immediately very strong, intensely as was foreseeable given the characteristics of the two players, with Auger having to cancel two break points in the first game, and despite the resistance of the Serbian and the quality from the bottom he manages to bring home the game, followed by two quick and painless; the level is very high right from the start, intense and violent. Another break point for the Serbian arrives in the fifth game, again canceled by Auger, a bit of foil and a bit of a saber. Kecmanovic then holds a great game at 15, with the last two points that are the emblem of his game: winning straight on the line from the corridor and wonderful counter-damped, very delicate. On the fourth attempt, in the seventh game, and also deservedly, the break for the Serbian arrives: comeback from 40-15, also thanks to a somewhat tense Auger, who concedes a double fault and two outgoing errors (however propitiated by insidious responses ) which break Kecmanovic. Immediately afterwards, as expected, the first difficulties in the service for the Serbian arrive, at the moment of confirming the break: a river game of 18 points in which he must cancel 5 break points, propitious even from the first time in the match in which the Serbian in addition to playing in a way belonging to a select few, he also does some homage to the opponent, except to return when it is time to cancel the break points. The Serbian will close 6-4 at the second set point, finding a great depth and leading the Canadian to error, who has had few opportunities, it must be said, mostly due to almost “excessive” merits by Kecmanovic, who has played celestial tennis in the first half.

In the second set the break comes immediately, at the first chance and even at 0: a double foul on the second point and a bit of bad luck on the third point with the tape that almost stops a winner of the n.9 in the world, but in any case the Serbian arrives everywhere and replies with strength and depth. He confirms it at 0 almost by not letting the Canadian Miomir touch the ball, devastating in all the fundamentals, service and response, from the bottom, he pushes like a madman; in the third game Auger, even with some hands of the Serbian, who plays more loosely in response, at least manages to move the score, but appears at the mercy of events and Kecmanovic. This is followed by 8 points in a row for Miomir, which therefore mean a double break, for many merits as always in the match: of course Auger could sometimes close and he did not, not always incisive enough on the ball, but the opponent remains too impetuous, which does not allow him to find a solution that can affect. The Canadian seems to regain some strength, entering more into the field and pushing in the sixth game, although Kecmanovic does not drop; he heaves himself to the advantages for the second time in the match, but without even managing to get a break point, losing precision and cynicism at the moment of truth. He then takes a good turn at 30, but at this point quite unrealistic. Closes, without problems as from start to finish, 6-2 Miomir Kecmanovic, who literally demolishes Felix Auger-Aliassime, out for the second tournament in a row in the first round, after Indian Wells. But it must be said that today he never really had a say in his destiny, too good and concrete Kecmanovic, disarming on the reverse and constant as he knew to be the man who sits in his corner, a good one (for those who don’t know, the Serbian is coached by David Nalbandian). A clear 6-4 6-2, definitely, but which perhaps does not fully express the superiority of the number 48 in the world, who today made an iron pact with the tennis gods, who led him in one of the most beautiful matches of his career. We do not discover Miomir Kecmanovic today, but from today we can say that he has finally found the right square to establish himself in the tennis firmament, his star is shining brightly, and we hope that he is not passing by like a comet. He will face, for a place in the round of 16, one between Albert Ramos and Sebastian Korda (in that case it would be a game to be enjoyed, with the Serbian perhaps a little more confident, but we all still have in our eyes Seb’s performance against Rafa in Indian Wells).

[15] R. Bautista-Agut b. K. Majchrzak 6-3 6-3 (Giorgio Di Maio)

Win more sweaty than the result says for Roberto Bautista-Agutwhich against the Pole Kamil Majchrzak he had to make up a break from behind in the second set before putting the game on his tracks. In the first set a great game of the Spaniard was enough to put the arrow, putting doubts in the game devoted to Majchrzak’s attack with splendid passers-by. In particular, two backhand passers-by are worth the break for Bautista, first diagonally and then along the line the two shots pinch the line and give the Spaniard the seventh gamewho has no problem closing the first set 6-3 with the second consecutive break.

The working day for Bautista-Agut becomes more complex in the second set. Majchrzak opens the first game of the second set with three break points, the Spaniard feels the pressure from the baseline and with a forehand that ends along the Polish breakka. At the moment of consolidating the advantage in the fourth game, the pressure betrays the Pole. Too many mistakes near the net, especially in the closing phase, cost Majchrzak the counterbreak, who throws away the break advantage with a comfortable backhand shot away from the pitch. The Pole’s problems continue into the next game, with RBA taking another break point. Majchrzak finds a good serve and volley and banishes the danger. However, it is not enough to put the match back on track, Bautista finds the break to zero in the eighth game and closes easily on his serve. Will challenge the winner of the challenge between Jenson Brooksby and Nikoloz Basilashvili.

[8] H. Hurkacz b. A. Rinderknech 7-6 (5) 6-2 (Pilgrim of the Year)

The No. 8 and n. 10 of the world Hubert Hurkacz beats the French n. 58 Arthur Rinderknech 7-6 (5) 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes. For the Polish champion, challenging debut enough to break in the engine and become familiar with the conditions in Florida.

The beginning is very quiet, with 3 interlocutors games, held by both without problems, nor exposing themselves too much from the point of view of the game. But the first crunches in the service are not long in coming, and they are for the Pole: cancels the first break point of the match, after a few too many mistakes that led to conceding it, with an excellent serve and volley, but it takes him a while to bring the game home, with Rinderknech not giving up his prey, and he comes forward very often, especially on his batting rounds, where he appears almost unplayable in the early stages of the match. This is followed by a very fast game for the Frenchman (who must play the outgoing shot only on one point, and it will be a winning forehand), much less for Hurkacz: he still gets to the advantages, albeit without break points, but in the end he comes out with a ace and a winning first. Games are not played in the eighth and ninth games, with Rinderknech yielding a single point with one of the very rare errors in maneuvering, and Hurkacz who even (for the first time in the match) keeps it at 0, finding better sensations at the service and consequently more ease in outgoing shots; the feeling is that the only turning point can be some blackout, because very little is being played. Then we arrive rightly at the tie break (only one break point in the whole set, none for Hurkacz), which starts in the same way as in the set, even if the Frenchman is forced to some defensive prowess, with a more proactive Hurkacz, yet it is he who suffers the first mini break: in the eighth point he attacks badly and is passed, but from there he raises the level of tennis to its 2021 version and puts 4 points to 0 to win the tie break 7 points to 5 (the ninth point marks the furrow, a very dubious second ace). The last 2 wonderful points: he manages with strength from the bottom and closes on the fly, attacks on the set point and despite a series of miraculous recoveries by the French subnet, takes him home with arrogance and desire. He struggles enough in these first games as a defending champion, as did Sinner yesterday for the whole match.

The second part begins as a nightmare for the Frenchman, surprisingly in light of the first set and the numbers he had left as a dowry: many mistakes, also due to the disappointment he had in the tie break and collapses, managing to cancel a break point, but then surrendering to an attack closed wonderfully at the net and by Hubi and a response in the feet that forces him to make the mistake . The third game (after the second quick and painless one) is a river game of 18 points, and to say that it started in total silence: Rinderknech ahead 40-0, then Hurkacz plays free arm and mistakes arrive, from there a very long game, in which the French also cancels a break point, and then gives it away after so many wasted chances with a forehand in the net from the bottom; second break point conquered with a great play at the net, where he is finding various pearls. With this double break the game now appears in the farmhouse. Two non-existent games follow, with the Pole even needing 3 aces out of 4 to go 4-0, in a game lasting one minute and seven; the Frenchman also keeps at 0, finding his serve a little, but too late. Quiet game in the service of the Pole, the sixth, who afterwards has a match point but with a burst of pride the Frenchman cancels it. A second set without history will close 6-2 Hurkacz, in which in the end Rinderknech paid duty for the occasion of the 5-3 in the tie-break, probably especially because a doubtful second ace arrived on that point, which tormented by drastically dropping his game, especially in the service, which as we know is a very important weapon for the French. Hurkacz therefore begins his defense of the title very well, suffering a little in the first set but returning to the second, giving clear signals to the rest of the participants. He will have Aslan Karatsev in the third round, in the road that leads to Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals (and given the start of today’s tournament by Medvedev, it seems very probable).

[11] T. Fritz b. [Q] M. Kukushkin 6-3 5-7 6-3 (Luca De Gaspari)

The fresh champion of Indian Wells Taylor Fritz schase away the fear tied to his inflamed ankle and pass a good test of endurance at the debut in the tournament against the Kazakh expert Mikhail Kukushin who, unlike him, had already played three games in Florida, passing through the qualifiers and the first round of the main draw.

Fritz paid dearly for the only pass to serve in the twelfth game of the second set that cost him the partial. But in the third of him he took over the reins of the game avoiding when possible the too long exchanges that seemed to favor his opponent including a memorable 36-stroke with which the Kazakh canceled a break point. Fritz, although incredulous, did not give up that game which then earned him the break that effectively closed the discussion.

The difference in the rendering of the service was such that it could not be filled by Kukushkin’s constancy and regularity. For Fritz in the third round derby with stars and stripes against Tommy Paul, let’s imagine on an important field.

The complete men’s draw of Miami

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