HUBERT Hurkacz unleashed 17 aces to topple France’s Arthur Rinderknech 7-6(5), 6-2 and keep his title defense going at the Miami Open on Saturday as world number two Daniil Medvedev sent twice winner Andy Murray packing and Naomi Osaka advanced on a walkover.
Rinderknech was unable to convert his sole break point in the first set and lost the momentum altogether after the tie-break, as the 10th-ranked Pole won the first four games of the second set of their second-round clash.
Reigning US Open champion Medvedev never faced a break and proved too nimble for three-times Grand Slam winner Murray, dropping just two of his first-serve points in the second set as he won 6-4, 6-2.
“Playing against Andy is never easy,” said Medvedev, who is on a quest to regain his number-one ranking. “Managed to serve well, and I think that was one of the keys today.”
Japan’s Osaka advanced to the fourth round on a walkover after Czech Karolina Muchova withdrew following an injury she sustained during warm-ups.
The four-times Grand Slam champion will face the winner of an all-American clash between Ann Li and Alison Riske in the Grandstand later on Saturday.
Muchova’s was the latest injury to mar the women’s field in Miami after Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep pulled out on Thursday.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut moved past Pole Kamil Majchrzak 6-3, 6-3 and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic eased past Britain’s Heather Watson 6-4, 6-1.
Swiss Bencic, who suffered early exits from Indian Wells earlier this month and Doha in February, launched five aces across the net as Watson struggled on the return and was only able to convert one of eight break points.
She next faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, who triumphed in their only previous meeting in the first round of the 2018 US Open. — Reuters