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David Ferrer Beats Sam Querrey In Miami | ATP Tour

David Ferrer might be retiring in two months, but he is still a man no one wants to face on the ATP Tour.

The Spaniard, who turns 37 on 2 April, won his first ATP Masters 1000 match in 12 months on Thursday, beating American Sam Querrey 6-3, 6-2 at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Ferrer feasted on Querrey’s second serve, winning 87 per cent of those points (20/23), and pressured the former World No. 11 all match. Ferrer raced out to a 3-0 behind a break of serve, and added three more breaks in the second set to cruise to victory in just 74 minutes.

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The 27-time ATP Tour titlist is playing in Miami for the 17th and final time. Ferrer has said he will retire at the Mutua Madrid Open in May.

“I enjoyed it a lot. It’s Miami, a lot of people have supported me all these years. For me, it’s a great experience to play in this new stadium,” Ferrer said. “I’m really happy because I played really good… I am doing my goal, and my goal is to be competitive.”

But he still has work to do in South Florida, where he reached the 2013 final (l. to Murray). Ferrer will next meet second seed Alexander Zverev, who beat him in the Miami second round last year.

Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic set up a #NextGenATP showdown with American Frances Tiafoe by beating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 7-5. Kecmanovic had only one tour-level win before last week’s BNP Paribas Open, but the 19-year-old became the first lucky loser to reach the Indian Wells quarter-finals since 1990 (l. to Raonic).

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Former junior World No. 1 Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei came up short during his first Masters 1000 match. The 17-year-old, who won junior titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year, fell to Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5. Sousa will next play 31st seed Steve Johnson.

Qualifiers Reilly Opelka and Andrey Rublev each won their third match in a row. Opelka held off German Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat Zverev last week in Indian Wells, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 behind 25 aces. The 6’11” American will face 5’7” Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the second round.

Rublev, who reached the 2017 and 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, secured a second-round meeting with ninth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia. The Russian knocked out Japan’s Taro Daniel 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy will next meet countryman and 23rd seed Gilles Simon after outlasting Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-7(1), 6-2, 7-6(5).

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Mektic/Zeballos Win Indian Wells In Second Tournament As A Team | ATP Tour

Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos arrived at the first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year having played just one prior tournament as a team. But on Saturday evening, the Croat-Argentine duo defeated sixth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 to win the BNP Paribas Open.

“Oh my God, we won Indian Wells!” Mektic said when given the microphone during the trophy ceremony.

In the second round, it appeared that Mektic and Zeballos might be ousted early, facing two match points in a Match Tie-break against top seeds and Australian Open champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. But the unseeded pair survived and never looked back, defeating fifth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah in the quarter-finals and the 2018 year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team, Oliver Marach/Mate Pavic, in the semi-finals.

“[It’s] a little bit unreal. We’re still looking at each other and just repeating, ‘Did we just win’?” Mektic said.

“[It’s] unbelievable,” Zeballos said. “And being in the big [press] conference [room], it’s great. I’ve never been in this room. I love it.”

Twenty of the 32 singles seeds played doubles in Indian Wells, but none reached the final. Instead, Mektic and Zeballos won an impressive 40 per cent of their return points against Kubot and Melo to triumph after one hour and 28 minutes. 

Perhaps the key moment came on set point in the second set for Mektic and Zeballos. It was deuce, which on the ATP Tour is deciding point in doubles. Melo, who was dominant at net for much of the match, hit a volley into the net from just inches away, evening the match at a set apiece. Mektic and Zeballos were perfect on serve in the Match Tie-break to clinch the victory. They add 1,000 ATP Doubles Ranking points to their total, and split $457,290 in prize money.

Mektic and Zeballos have not discussed the future of their partnership yet — they combined after their full-time partners got hurt. But it’s safe to say that Mektic’s second Masters 1000 title and Zeballos’ first showed the world what they’re capable of as a pair.

“We are a great team. We can beat anyone,” Mektic said. “Especially on this tournament where [the difference in] every match is a few balls, a few points will decide who’s going to win. Of course you’re not expecting to win, but we were going into every match confident that we can win, so we just went step by step and it happened.”

Kubot and Melo will be disappointed to not lift their fifth Masters 1000 trophy, but they still gain 600 points and a share of $223,170.

“They had the toughest draw possible,” Melo said. “They beat all the best teams in the world.”

Did You Know?
Before Mektic (Croatia) and Zeballos (Argentina), no Croatian or Argentine had ever won the BNP Paribas Open doubles title (since 1976).

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