The former US Open champion hit 13 winners but also recorded 30 unforced errors which allowed his Italian opponent to take advantage.
Dominic Thiem fell to his fifth successive defeat in the first round of the 2023 Miami Open on Friday after a 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 loss to Lorenzo Sonego. The Austrian seemed to be on the verge of tears as his poor luck shows no signs of letting up. It is speculated that Thiem never quite fully recovered after suffering a wrist injury back in 2021. The former US Open champion hit 13 winners but also recorded 30 unforced errors which allowed his Italian opponent to take advantage and advance to the second round in Miami.
“I wanted to be aggressive on the return and I was very aggressive overall today. I’ve wanted to play closer to the baseline this year,” Sonego said. “I like to play in Miami because the conditions are really fast.” The Italian will face a tricky test in Daniel Evans in the second round of the ATP 1000 competition.
For Thiem, however, things are going from bad to worse in 2023. Apart from losing his fifth match on a row, the Austrian now has a disappointing 1-8 win-loss record to show for this year so far. After a fine performance in 2022, Thiem has failed to capitalize. His sole victory of the season came against Alex Molcan in the first round of the Buenos Aires Open.
Beginning her 2023 Miami Open campaign, Coco Gauff defeated Rebecca Marino on Stadium Court in the second round with a score of 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday. Gauff, who is from Southeast Florida, won her local Hologic WTA Tour match in 1 hour and 12 minutes to advance to the third round for the second consecutive season. With her best Miami Open performance to date, she advanced one stage further last year and reached the Round of 16.
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Gauff defeated Marino of Canada on Thursday, winning both of their previous meetings. She converted five of her nine break points and twice rallied from a break down in the second set. In order to reach her first Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros last year, Gauff also defeated Marino. In her tenth career matchup against Top 10 competition, Marino was once more denied her first Top 10 victory. Last year, Marino came very close to winning a Top 10 match, taking both Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia to three sets in 2022.
Gauff lost a break early in the first set when Marino came back on serve at 4-3 after slamming back-to-back forehand winners. The American teen, however, was unfazed and hit her sixth ace of the set to hold at 5-4 before breaking Marino twice to win the first set. In the second set, Gauff rallied from breaks down at 2-1 and 3-2 before taking control for good with a deep service return that forced an error and put her in the lead 5-3.
The next game saw Marino gain a break point, but Gauff levelled up and won with three consecutive strong serves that were all returned into the net. Gauff’s third-round opponent will be Anastasia Potapova, the No. 27 seed. At the 2019 US Open, Gauff defeated Potapova in a difficult three-set match; in 2021 Montreal, Potapova was defeated when she retired with a 5-0 deficit.
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