Sousa Edges Harrison In Miami Opener
Haase moves closer to match wins milestone
Portugal’s Joao Sousa, currently No. 80 in the ATP Rankings, scored a confidence-boosting 7-6(4), 7-6(4) victory over American Ryan Harrison in one hour and 47 minutes on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Harrison, this year’s Brisbane International presented by Suncorp finalist (l. to Kyrgios), led 3-0 in the first set and later saved three match points at 4-5 in the second set. Sousa will now face seventh-seeded Belgian David Goffin, who is returning from an eye injury, in the second round.
France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert saved four of five break points to hand an early exit to another local, Taylor Fritz, 7-6(4), 6-4 in one hour and 36 minutes for a second-round meeting against second-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic.
After falling behind 1-3 in the decisive set, #NextGen player Michael Mmoh fought back to deny fellow American Christopher Eubanks. The #NextGenATP star wins five of the final six games to close out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win - his first at the Masters 1000 level and just his third tour-level win.
"I would always grow up watching the Masters events, especially Miami. It was one of my favourite Masters events. Just watching it as a kid, and actually being here and winning a round, it means a lot," Mmoh said.
Robin Haase moved to within one victory of his 200th match win by beating Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 52 minutes. Haase won four of the first five games of the first set and swept to a 5-0 lead in the decider. The Dutchman will now challenge fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro, the in-form BNP Paribas Open champion.
Australia’s Matthew Ebden held his nerve to outlast former World No. 6 Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-5 in two hours and 26 minutes. Simon, the 2011, 2013 and 2016 quarter-finalist, led 5-2 in the second set before Ebden fought back for a tie-break. After exchanging service breaks at the start of the third set, Ebden broke for a fifth time in the 12th game and will now prepare to face Next Gen ATP Finals champion and No. 19 seed Hyeon Chung.
American Jared Donaldson saved all eight break points he faced en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win over 32-year-old Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. At No. 49 in the ATP Rankings, Donaldson is just one spot away from his career-high mark. But the 21-year-old has 106 points to defend this event after reaching the fourth round last year as a qualifier. Donaldson, who also won his opening-round match two weeks ago at the BNP Paribas Open, improved to 8-7 on the season and next faces Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez.
Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny claimed his third win of the year with a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) win over Argentine Guido Pella. The 35-year-old, who is now just five wins away from 500 career match victories, next faces No. 23 seed, Gilles Muller.