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Federer Fends Off Albut to Advance to the Third Round at the Miami Open

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Federer Fends Off Albut to Advance to the Third Round at the Miami Open


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Three time Miami Open and holder of 20 majors Roger Federer struggled today in his opening match. Still, in the end, the Swiss put away qualifier Radu Albot 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to move on to the third round at the Miami Open.

Playing someone for the first time can be a tricky, Federer dropped the opening game of the match and could not bank on any of the four break points he manufactured. Consequently, Albot, who secured his first ATP tile this year in Delray Beach, grew in confidence. Federer finally capitalized on break point in the second set to push the match to a third set. Once again, in the last set, one break point in Federer’s favor was the difference.

Federer pinpointed that his struggles stemmed from the fact that ” I felt like I was in two minds, how you play sometimes in a first round. You’re looking to take on the ball, but then sometimes you also know you just cannot go big all the time. You also have to hold back. Sometimes you feel like it happens always at the wrong times. You pull the trigger at the wrong times. You’re going safe at the wrong times. That has something to do with how I thought he played his game. He seemed very clear to me, and I wasn’t. In the heat of the moment, I started forgetting stuff also that my coach told me. I felt like all the important points, points that could have led to something interesting for me, I played poorly because I was in two minds. . . I thought actually how I protected my serve, after getting broken in the first game, was actually very good. There’s definitely really some good elements there in the game, but I did struggle obviously. I’m very, very happy that I found a way.”

In addition to the opponent, there was the venue to contend with “there’s definitely always a slight sort of buzz in the stadium. I think it’s more because of the size and the ventilation. You feel there’s always a bit of a noise there, which is sometimes a bit unusual for tennis. Of course, indoors you get that more often. We do have it occasionally. . .a very key element of our sport is you can hear a pin drop. . .Here it’s not so much the case. When somebody hits the ball, it’s not as clear maybe, which then can feel almost like it’s a little bit of an empty space. That can feel maybe a little bit different. I didn’t feel like it was totally something out of the ordinary where I had no clue where my boundaries were, like I’ve had maybe at some other courts from around the world in the past. I’ve gotten used to it quite quickly. . .it’s a big place. I mean, the side stands are huge. It goes far away. It’s unusual to have it that way. I would have thought maybe they would put it in the corner, the stadium, instead of on the long side. Still it was a good atmosphere.”

Stanislas Wawrinka, Federer’s countryman, was not as fortunate. The three time major champion fell in the day’s initial match to Filip Krajinovic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 spoiling the all Swiss third round collision. Wawrinka led in the tiebreaker 5-2 and lost the next five points.

Other notable upsets include 9th seed Marin Cilic who went down to qualifier Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-4. Tenth seed Karen Khachanov was sent packing by Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3. American qualifier Reilly Opelka stunned 21st seed Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. While 20th seed Denis Shapovalov squeezed by lucky loser Daniel Evans 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Also, moving onto third round are Kevin Anderson who toughed it out against Jaime Munar in three sets. Grigor Dimitrov had no trouble with Feliciano Lopez. The Bulgarina dismissed the Spaniard in 60 minutes, 6-1, 6-3. Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 13th seed Danil Medvedev, Leonardo Mayer, 18th seed David Goffin and Joao Sousa booked their bid into round three in straight sets.

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