For more than an hour on Friday, #NextGen star Taylor Fritz was even with perennial Top 10 player David Ferrer at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
Fritz had battled back after an early break and was serving aces and hitting winners past the Spaniard. But the 18-year-old American failed to convert either of his two set points in the first frame. And in the second set, Ferrer showed why he’s been a mainstay at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments for the past 14 years.
The No. 8 seed cruised in the second set and beat Fritz 7-6(6), 6-1 to move into the third round. Ferrer, who’s making his 14th consecutive appearance in Miami, is looking to improve upon his best showing at the tournament, a runner-up finish in 2013 (l. to Murray).
Ferrer next will face Lucas Pouille of France, who beat No. 32 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-4.
No. 11 seed Marin Cilic strolled past Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-1 to secure his place in the third round. The Croat won 83 per cent of his first-serve points to win in straight sets. He’ll next play No. 18 seed Gilles Simon of France, who won 7-5, 6-1 against Juan Monaco of Argentina. Simon won 23 of his 24 first-serve points.
No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych received a walkover to move into the third round when American Rajeev Ram withdrew because of illness. Berdych will now face American Steve Johnson or #NextGen star Alexander Zverev of Germany.
Austrian Dominic Thiem had little trouble against the big-serving Aussie Sam Groth. The No. 14 seed won 7-5, 6-2 to move into the third round. Groth landed fewer than 50 per cent of his first serves. Thiem broke him three times in the win.