Australian Alexei Popyrin continued his fine start to 2021 on Friday by knocking out American No. 30 seed Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-2 in 65 minutes at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
“All of the hard work I’ve put in the pre-season is paying off, 10 wins in 13 matches,” Popyrin told ATPTour.com. “I really thought I was consistent during the match. Putting in lots of returns is difficult when Reilly is firing down 230 km/h bombs.”
Popyrin, who captured his first ATP Tour title in February at the Singapore Tennis Open (d. Bublik), will next challenge World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev or Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei.
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Another Australian, James Duckworth, competing in his third ATP Masters 1000 tournament, recording the biggest win of his career by striking 22 winners to beat World No. 13 David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-1 in 77 minutes. He will play Kazakhstani No. 32 seed Alexander Bublik or Laslo Djere of Serbia in the third round.
World No. 104 Duckworth won the first three games of the match and came within one point of a 5-1 advantage in the first set. He clinched the 44-minute opener with a forehand volley winner, then broke three times in the second set, which ended with Goffin striking a forehand long. Goffin, the 2016 semi-finalist, committed 32 unforced errors.
Goffin, who lifted his fifth ATP Tour title last month at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Bautista Agut), is now 9-7 on the season.