Rising star Alcaraz crashes out of Miami Open at first hurdle

One of the most thotly-tipped young stars on the ATP Tour lost in the first round of his Miami Open campaign

Rising star Carlos Alcaraz was unceremoniously dumped out of the Miami Open on Wednesday, losing in his first-round match to Emil Ruusuvuori.

The Finn triumphed 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, hitting 16 winners and breaking the Alcaraz serve three times to secure a second-round clash with Alexander Zverev, seeded third.

“It was decided by very few points, it was a very small difference [between us] today,” Ruusuvuori said. “In the end, he had a chance in the third, we both had our chances. But I was able to come back and somehow get the win. But it was a very difficult match. He was playing very well, and I’m just happy to get through.”

The 21-year-old also had some nice things to say about his teenage opponent – who won three of the four Challenger finals he played after the resumption of the tour last autumn.

Also read: ‘Not living life like other 17-year-olds is a small price to pay’ – Exclusive interview with Alcaraz

“He’s very young and very talented. A very good player [that] I’m sure we’re going to hear about a lot,” Ruusuvuori said. “So much power already at that age, he can do some serious damage. But somehow today I got the win.”

Maiden win

Elsewhere, Australian youngster Alexei Popyrin secured his maiden win at the Miami Open, knocking out the oldest player in the draw Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Popyrin, 21, claimed his first ATP Tour title last month in Singapore and backed that up with a strong display against the 39-year-old former top 20 Spaniard.

Recent Open 13 Marseille runner-up Pierre-Hugues Herbert got past Portugal’s Pedro Sousa 6-1 6-3, while South Africa’s Lloyd Harris defeated Emilio Nava 6-4 7-6 (9-7).

Frances Tiafoe won in the final match of Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Stefano Travaglia 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Comeback

Brit Cameron Norrie produced a heroic final-set fightback to claim his spot in the second round, where he will face Grigor Dimitrov.

Norrie trailed 5-1 in the third set against Yoshihito Nishioka, before winning 6-1 3-6 7-5, winning the last six games to clinch victory.

The 56th-ranked Brit sent down eight aces in the victory, although he got the edge on return and converted seven of his 10 break points.

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