Zverev, Edmund Among Early Winners In Miami
British hope goes onto meet Novak Djokovic in the second round
Two Next Generation players, Alexander Zverev and Kyle Edmund, were both among early winners on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
Zverev, 18, recorded his 10th match win of the year by beating wild card Michael Mmoh 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in one hour and 54 minutes. It was the first all-teenager match in Miami since 2007, when Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray for a place in the final.
“Today, with the changes in conditions compared to Indian Wells, it wasn’t easy to play the best tennis of my life,” Zverev said. “But I got through it and I’m happy to be in the second round. I always knew Michael is a great player. He has a huge serve and he knows the conditions perfectly since he practices here.
“I think everybody is paying more attention to the young guys now. The top guys are looking out. It’s nice to get the attention,” added Zverev, who was a point away from upsetting Rafael Nadal at the BNP Paribas Open. “[The Indian Wells loss] showed me that I can play at the same level as the top guys. Unfortunately I didn’t win it, but that can happen against someone like Rafa.”
Edmund, 21, will take on World No. 1 and five-time champion Djokovic in the second round after he recorded his first Miami victory by knocking out Jiri Vesely 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6) in two hours and 32 minutes. Edmund could not convert match points opportunities at 5-4 in the third set, then at 6/4 and 6/5 in the tie-break.
Also in action on Wednesday was a group of veterans looking to make a run at the year’s second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. 28-year-old Sam Groth fired 10 aces to take out 35-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos 6-3, 6-2. The big-serving Aussie only dropped one first-serve point in the 64-minute win (28/29). He improved to 2-8 at tour-level events in 2016.
American Rajeev Ram, 32, set up a second-round clash against No. 7 Thomas Berdych by downing Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 7-6(7). Other 30-and-over winners in the first round included Fernando Verdasco, who saved all five break points faced to see off Gilles Muller 7-6(2), 6-3 and Mikhail Youzhny, who won 6-4, 6-2 to improve to 5-3 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Ernests Gulbis.
Elsewhere, Inigo Cervantes hit eight aces past 18-year-old wild card Andrey Rublev, who recently won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Quimper, in a 6-4, 6-2 win.