Challenger Tour: Three seeds crash out of Santo Domingo on Monday, no shocks on Tuesday - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Three seeds crash out of Santo Domingo on Monday, no shocks on Tuesday



Jose Hernandez-Fernandez pulled off a big shock on Monday

The Dominican Republic Challenger in Santo Domingo saw three of the four seeds in action Monday depart from the draw defeated.


The biggest shock of the day saw Italian Alessandro Giannessi destroy the woefully out-of-form second seed Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-3 for a win that took just over sixty-one minutes.

That may have been the highest ranked seed to depart, but the match of the day belonged to a home favourite. Jose Hernandez-Fernandez, born and raised in Santo Domingo, defeated sixth seed and clay specialist Alejandro Gonzalez 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. The match featured twelve breaks of serve, six apiece. Both men struggled in the opening set, trading three breaks before Hernandez-Fernandez took advantage of errors from Gonzalez in the tiebreak. Gonzalez though, roared back and secured an early break in the second. Hernandez-Fernandez managed to retrieve it, but was broken again at four-all. A quick service hold from Gonzalez would see the seeded player become the favourite on paper once more. But the home crowd rallied Hernandez-Fernandez, and it would be he that struck first in the decider. Gonzalez’s firsts serve win percentage dropped below forty percent and he was broken early. This time it was  who Gonzalez rallied, breaking back, but Hernandez-Fernandez immediately re-took the lead and managed to hold serve for the rest of the set to seal his passage to the third round.

Andre Ghem was the final seeded casualty on the first day, as the Brazilian veteran was upset by Frenchman Maxime Chazal 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. Gerald Melzer, the third seed, was the only one to escape the carnage, as he edged out wildcard Nicolas Jarry 7-6, 6-3.

Moving to Tuesday, there were far fewer shocks to be found. Roberto Carballes Baena (4), Andrej Martin (5), and Joao Souza (8) all made it through unscathed, though Souza did endure a tough three-set battle against Giovanni Lapentti eventually winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Qualifier Roberto Quiroz, who had saved match points in the final qualification round against former Top 30 player Victor Hanescu, continued his run by defeating wildcard Emilio Gomez 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Quiroz is currently ranked outside the Top 1000.

Jozef Kovalik negotiated a potentially tricky opponent in qualifier Pere Riba 7-5, 7-6 and Calvin Hemery beat Jonathan Eysseric in an all French affair 6-4, 6-2. Other winners across the first round were Nicolas Kicker, Gianluca Naso, Franko Skugor, and Guido Andreozzi.

Wednesday (Second Round) Predictions:

Victor Estrella Burgos vs Gonzalo Lama (1st rd): This match to be completed on Wednesday due to Estrella-Burgos’ title run in Quito. Burgos is not only the top seed at this his home event, but is probably one of the best twenty players in the world on clay. Lama has little chance. Winner: Estrella Burgos in straight sets

Gerald Melzer vs Guido Andreozzi: This is perhaps the match of the day, as Gerald Melzer is just one week removed from his career high ranking of No. 120. Andreozzi though, is one of the toughest unseeded players in this draw, and also beat Melzer for the loss of just three games in their only previous career meeting four years ago. Winner: Melzer in three sets.

Jose Hernandez-Fernandez vs Nicolas Kicker: The home favourite is up against an in-form opponent in Argentine Nicolas Kicker. Hernandez-Fernandez will need to harness the support he received from the crowd if he is to conjure up another upset. Winner: Kicker in three sets.

Franko Skugor vs Alessandro Giannessi: Perhaps the most unheralded names in the second round, both nonetheless had excellent round one wins. Skugor defeated the evergreen Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo, a fomer ATP runner-up on clay, and Giannessi beat a poor Horacio Zeballos. Skugor has a little more experience at this level than the Italian, so I’m would expect Skugor to win this. Winner Skugor in straight sets.


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Dusan Lajovic upsets Andy Murray to reach the second round at the Miami Open



Dusan Lajovic upset two-time champion Andy Murray 6-4 7-5 in their first head-to-head match on the first day of the Miami Open to reach the second round at the Hard Rock Stadium. 


Lajovic won 72% of his second serve points and saved two of the three break points he faced. The Serbian player converted all three break points. 

Lajovic saved two break points in the fourth and sixth game before earning the first break of the match to love in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Lajovic held on his final two service games to win the first set 6-4. 

Lajovic earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, when Murray hit his forehand long. Lajovic was not able to serve out the match at 5-4, as Murray broke back to draw level to 5-5. After missing two match points from 40-0, Lajovic closed out the match, when Murray his his forehand into the net after a long rally in the 12th game. Lajovic has now a 8-5 record this season. 

Lajovic had won just four of 16 hard court since the start of 2022. 

“When I did not close it out, I thought it’s happening again. Honestly that last game I was super right at 40-0 and he was able to put pressure on me. Luckily he shanked the last forehand, which he normally doesn’t do”, said Lajovic. 

Lajovic ended his Sunshine Double campaign with a 2-2 record in Indian Wells and Miami. 

Lajovic set up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. 

“I don’t like playing against guys like him. They try to provoke you and put you under pressure on your service games. I will try to stay mentally stable”, said Lajovic. 

Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Brandon Nakashima edged past Oscar Otte 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in 88 minutes. 

Nakashima hit a series of winners to win the tie-break 7-3 with two mini-breaks before earning the only break of serve in the sixth game of the second set. The US player did not face a break point en route to taking the win in his first head-to-head match against Otte. 

Nakashima set up a second round match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who won their only previous head-to-head match in straight-set at the Adelaide International 2. 

Japan’s Taro Daniel reached the second round after his French opponent Arthur Rinderknech retired when he went down 1-4 in the first set. Daniel beat Matteo Berrettini en route to the third round at Indian Wells last week. JJ Wolf beat Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-3.

The first set started with a trade of breaks. Bublik earned his second break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Wolf broke straight back to draw level to 5-5, as Bublik was serving for the set. Wolf earned his third break in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. Wolf won the second set 6-3 with his only break in the fourth game. 

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Bianca Andreescu battles past Emma Raducanu in Miami

The Canadian won her first-round match against a tough British opponent.




Bianca Andreescu is into the second round of the Miami Open after beating Emma Raducanu 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in two hours and 33 minutes on Stadium Court.


The Toronto native hit 33 winners and served seven aces in a match that went the distance. Andreescu saved 11 out of the 12 break points she faced and broke her rival three times en route to victory.

“You never know what you are going to expect and I wanted to come in today playing my best,” the former US Open champion said afterwards. ” With what I had I think I did that and Emma played amazing. She is an incredible player”.

Andreescu opened the match by breaking the London native in the first game and that break of serve was enough for her to serve out the first set quite comfortably.

The second set stayed on serve until 4-3 when Raducanu had multiple breakpoints and managed to break the Canadian on her seventh opportunity. She then served out the set to send the match into a deciding third set where the Toronto native bounced back and at 3-2 broke Raducanu once again to take the lead.

Andreescu broke serve once again while the Brit was serving to stay in the match to secure the win. After the match in her post-match on-court interview, she was asked what made her so dangerous today.

“I didn’t let my negative emotions get the best of me and I stayed positive,” she replied. “I was very energetic and I never gave up and that really key for me today”.

The Canadian will next face the number seven seed Maria Sakkari in the second round.

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Iga Swiatek pulls out of the Miami Open due to a rib injury



Defending champion Iga Swiatek was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open ahead of the second round match due to a rib injury. 


Swiatek was expected to play against US player Claire Liu on Thursday after receiving a first-round bye. 

“You know that in and after Doha I was struggling with a strong infection. I was allowed to play, but a strong episode of tough cough led to a rib injury. We were trying to handle it and continue to play as long as it was safe for me. We were analyzing the data in the last days and my doctor prepared my diagnosis. Unfortunately, I am still feeling a lot of discomfort and pain and I can’t compete. It’s a truly call to not play in Miami, but health is the most important thing. I am grateful this is the first health issue in a long time and I was able in perfect shape for so long, but that’s sport. It happens sometimes, without our control. It’s time to accept it and get well as well as possible ”, said Swiatek. 

The injury bothered Swiatek during her semifinal match against eventual champion Elena Rybakina in Indian Wells. She revelead after her match against Rybakina that she had been struggling with a rib complaint following an infection. 

“I gave it all but Elena was a better player today. I am feeling discomfort and pain in my ribs and it was challenging for me to compete at my highest level. Now I just need to consult with my medical team and I will definitely use these next days to recover”, said Swiatek. 

She will also miss the Bille Jean King Cup Qualifier against Kazakhstan from 14-15 April in Astana. 

Last year Swiatek did not drop a set en route to winning the Miami Open. The Polish player became the fifth woman to complete the Sunshine Double of winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami in the same season. Swiatek will be replaced by Austrian lucky loser Julia Grabher. 

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