Miami [US], March 24 (ANI): Italian Lorenzo Sonego on Thursday night produced a stunning performance at the Miami Open to defeat former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem 7-6(7), 6-2.
Following a tight first set, the World No. 59 blew open the match by winning the first four games of the second set, as his clean hitting from the baseline and the former US Open champion’s errors proved decisive.
Sonego, who reached the Miami fourth round in 2021, will next meet Briton Daniel Evans.
Thiem, who has not won a Masters 1000 match since Rome 2021, racked up 13 winners to 30 unforced errors spread evenly across both wings.
Thiem has fallen to 1-8 on the season, failing to capitalise on an encouraging return to the tour from a serious wrist injury in 2022. He went 18-14 last year, but his only win this year came in the first round of Buenos Aires against Alex Molcan.
“I wanted to be aggressive on the return and I was very aggressive overall today. I’ve wanted to play closer to the baseline this year. I like to play in Miami because the conditions are really fast,” ATP.com quoted Sonego as saying.
Meanwhile, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis was able to save three match points in a third-set tie-break to knock out the Belgian World No. 135 Zizou Bergs after earlier rallying from a set down and 2-4 in the decider.
Kokkinakis, who lost 7-5 in the third to Benoit Paire in the final round of qualifying before getting into the main draw as a lucky loser, advances to play eighth seed and 2021 champion Hubert Hurkacz.
I’ve been feeling happy on court the past couple of weeks and made a pact with myself to at least compete, no matter how I’m feeling. My tennis is fine, it’s just my head. I’m just trying to give myself every chance,” said Kokkinakis.
“The crowd got behind me and without them I wouldn’t have pulled through. I’m happy I live to fight another day,” he added.