Australian hopes take a hit at Miami Open


Australia's singles hopes are over at the ATP Tour's Miami Open, after Alex de Minaur and Chris O'Connell both fell in the round of 16.

A clash with Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner proved a step too far for Sydneysider O'Connell, who bowed out in a 6-4 6-3 defeat.

After a tight first set, de Minaur lost a roller-coaster clash with Hungarian hitman Fabian Marozsan 6-4 0-6 6-1.

The defeat ended the Australian's hopes of becoming the first player to reach 20 wins this season.

Marozsan has now taken out two top-10 players in recent days after seeing off world No.7 Holger Rune in the round of 64.

Doubles specialist Matt Ebden is the last Australian standing in Miami, into the semi-finals with partner Rohan Bopanna after a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 10-7 win over Sem Verbeek and John-Patrick Smith.

O'Connell started strongly in the blustery conditions, surging into a 3-1 30-0 lead before being pegged back by Sinner, who won four consecutive points to avoid going down by a double break.

The Italian then reeled off five of the next six games to take the first set in 58 minutes against his Australian opponent, who showed an impressive variety of shots as he tried to force his way back.

Dropping his serve in the first game of the second set, O'Connell struggled to maintain his challenge as Sinner stepped up the pressure.

"Today was ... much more windy, so I had to adjust a little bit," Sinner said.

"He started off really well, I made a couple of mistakes.

"When you are a break down especially in the beginning, it's always tough.

"I tried to serve really solid. He made a couple of mistakes in important moments (which) today was the key."

Sinner will next meet Czech Tomas Machac, who progressed with a 6-3 6-3 victory against Matteo Arnaldi of Italy.

Daniil Medvedev took another step towards retaining a title for the first time in his career, beating Germany's Dominik Koepfer 7-6 (7- 5) 6-0 to reach the last eight with his 350th career win.

The Russian faces Chile's Nicolas Jarry - who beat seventh seed Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 - in the last eight.

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz advanced with ease, beating Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-3 in less than 90 minutes.

"I don't know if this is the best game that I'm playing, but without a doubt it's the best feeling," the Wimbledon champion said as he continued his recovery from ankle problems.

"I'm feeling great on the court. I'm moving great ... I'm not thinking about the ankle any more."

Alcaraz faces No.11 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals after the Bulgarian beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

- with Reuters