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Escobdeo upsets Evans; Bouchard’s poor run continues in Miami

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Author: AFPThu, 2017-03-23ID: 1490259259629531400MIAMI: Young American Ernesto Escobedo pulled off a surprise victory in three sets over Britain’s Dan Evans in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.The 20-year-old Mexican-American, who grew up playing on rough public courts in Los Angeles, is playing in his first ATP Masters 1000 series event, having qualified with a straight-sets win over Argentine Renzo Olivo.Escobedo, ranked 108th, beat the 43rd ranked Evans 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 at Crandon Park thanks mainly to his strong first serve, which included 10 aces.Escobedo will now face 25th-seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round and he can expect plenty of support from a strongly Hispanic South Florida crowd.For Evans, it was another setback after he went out in the second round at Indian Wells.There was more US success against British opposition when qualifier Jared Donaldson outlasted 45th-ranked Kyle Edmund 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.Edmund served for the match at 5-3 in the second set and then had three match points in the following game.Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka triumped in a two-hour battle with Australia’s Jordan Thompson.Nishioka, who reached the fourth round at Indian Wells last week, saved 11 of 14 break points to secure the 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.France’s Benoit Paire beat Slovak Martin Klizan 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to earn a second-round challenge with 21st seed Pablo Cuevas.There was an unusual stoppage during German veteran Tommy Haas’s narrow 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-5 loss to Czech Jiri Vesely when the game was halted due to an iguana on top of the scoreboard. The creature was eventually taken away by officials, but not before it scampered across the court.Eugenie Bouchard’s poor run of form continued as the Canadian suffered a first-round exit at the hands of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.Wildcard Barty’s 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win sets up an all-Australian clash in the second round of the WTA hardcourt event against 14th seed Samantha Stosur.But for the 23-year-old Bouchard, a former world No.5 who has slumped to 56th in the rankings, it was another blow after her first-round exit in Indian Wells.Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic was another high-profile early exit, the 2008 Miami finalist falling 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova.Local favorite and Rio Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig was comfortably dealt with 6-2, 6-4 by Romanian Sorana Cirstea.The Puerto Rican Miami-resident struggled from the outset and although she battled back well in the second set, Cirstea kept her cool to book a second round meeting with Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.Britain’s Heather Watson, who reached the fourth round in Miami last year, was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 by Romanian qualifier Patricia Maria Tig.
Main category: Sports

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