Ferrer Extends His Stay At The Miami Open

MIAMI, March 22, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

The frenetic pace of the first couple of days abated at the Miami Open presented by Itaú on Thursday as matches were played – and completed – without rain making an appearance. The remaining first-round matches were played with the results bringing forth in their wake, the usual reactions of satisfaction and dismay.

The wins of Felix Auger-Aliassime and David Ferrer among others, were definitely clubbed in the former category.

The 18-year-old Canadian came from a set down to defeat fellow qualifier Casper Ruud 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, and set up a second-round clash against Marton Fucsovics. While many were upset about Auger-Aliassime not receiving a main draw wild card in the event, his performances indicate that he is not distracted.

Moving along, Ferrer – who did receive a wild card to play in Miami – made his well-wishers’ day with an easy 6-3, 6-2 win over Sam Querrey. Ferrer, who is retiring this year in the clay season, has now won at least one match in each of the tournaments he has played in this final season of his. Matches like these, then, makes one wonder (despite Ferrer’s repeated reiterations) if the Spaniard ought to postpone retirement.

“I enjoyed it a lot. It’s Miami, a lot of people have supported me all these years. For me, it’s a great experience to play in this new stadium,” Ferrer said. “I’m really happy because I played really good… I am doing my goal, and my goal is to be competitive.”

The day also went well for the two lucky losers in the draw – Dan Evans and Mackenzie McDonald – with both claiming wins in their respective match-ups. Evans, who had caused a scene in his final qualifying match by directing insults and abuses at the match officials (including the umpire), defeated Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-0. The American, on the other hand, needed three sets to oust France’s Ugo Humbert in the last match of the day 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. Guess sometimes, one makes his own luck.

Lastly, speaking of disappointments, it was a day of dejection for India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran who lost to Jaume Munar in the first round. The Spaniard won 7-6, 6-4 to quickly turn Indian tennis fans’ elation into misery and leaving no Indian in the singles field. It was an equally quick exit for Martin Klizan against Lorenzo Sonego. The 29-year-old from Slovakia, who was forced to retire midway in his second-round match against Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells the week before, lost in straight sets to the Italian 6-4, 6-3. Up next for Sonego is the defending champion, and seventh seed, John Isner on Friday.