Miami Open 2022: Jannik Sinner, Alexander Zverev secure victories, advance to next round

The 20-year-old Italian erased five match points against Pablo Carreno Busta in a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 victory.

Jannik Sinner in action against Pablo Carreno Busta. (Image: Twitter)

Jannik Sinner saved multiple match points for the second straight match to advance at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Following three saves against Emil Ruusuvuoiri in his first match, the 20-year-old erased five match points against Pablo Carreno Busta in a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 victory. The Italian, a Miami finalist in 2021, was up against it from the start on Court Butch Buchholz and saved his first match point on serve at 5-4 in the second. He scored 11 points in a row to force a third. In the decider, he was in even more trouble, trailing by a break before breaking at love to prevent Carreno Busta from serving it out.

Sinner shook off four more match points in an epic five-deuce service game that lasted more than 11 minutes and lasted more than 11 minutes. With his fearless play, he did so with a flourish, gaining more and more crowd support by the minute. With his back against the wall, the Italian hit two forehand winners — one off the ground and the other with a volley — and drew two errors to keep his hopes alive.

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Back on level terms, Sinner turned the tables on the 17th seed by pressuring his serve and breaking to take the lead, much to the delight of the Miami crowd. In a three-hour and eleven-minute match, the game’s deciding point could have come in the final game. Sinner demonstrated his athleticism by returning a dribbler off the net cord, then guessed correctly to stab a volley at Carreno Busta’s feet, resulting in an error. He needed two match points of his own to seal the deal, securing his spot in the last 16 with a forehand winner, improving his season’s deciding set record to 5-0.

Zverev breezes past McDonald

Alexander Zverev ended Sunday’s evening session in Hard Rock Stadium with a much more comfortable victory over American Mackenzie McDonald after battling Borna Coric for three sets in his Miami opener. The German had break points in each of his first six return games, converting four of them as he raced to a 6-2, 4-0 lead in a 6-2, 6-2 victory. McDonald’s opportunity came in a low-leverage situation, as he trailed by a double break at 4-1 in the opener, and he wiped away the only break point he faced.

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On both serve and return, the German was able to pin his opponent deep behind the baseline, allowing him to dictate the rallies. In the match, he also hit 10 aces and won more than 70% of his service points.

“I’m happy to be finding my rhythm a little bit,” Zverev said after the match. “I’m happy with getting easier wins, as well. Just generally happy to be in the fourth round. I think the tournament is going to get tougher from here, but I’m ready.”

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