Miami: The French shine

After Quentin Halys, Adrian Mannarino and Grégoire Barrère also qualified for the third round of the Miami Masters 1000. Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe also passed.

Three French in the third round of the Masters 1000 in Miami, it’s been six years since that happened! In 2017, Adrian Mannarino, Nicolas Mahut, Jérémy Chardy and Benoit Paire played in the round of 16 of the Florida tournament. This year, it’s the turn of Quentin Halys, Grégoire Barrère, and again Adrian Mannarino! After the qualification of the native of Bondy to the detriment of Alex De Minaur, his two compatriots joined him at the end of the day on Saturday.

Honor first of all to the 65th world Grégoire Barrère, who eliminated the n°12, Cameron Norrie. At 29, and for only the second Masters 1000 of his career (the first being Indian Wells two weeks ago), the native of Charenton signed the first victory of his career over a Top 20 player, crushing the Briton 6-3, 6-2 in 1h01 of play. Author of 7 aces and 64% of first serves, Barrère did not have the slightest break point to defend. He took the opposing serve at 4-3 in the first set and 0-0 and 3-1 in the second to clinch this prestigious victory.

A year ago, Grégoire Barrère lost in the round of 16 of the Lille Challenger, here he is now in the round of 16 of a Masters 1000! With in addition a big blow to play since he will face the 119th world, the American Christopher Eubanks. Distrust, however, because the native of Atlanta beat him in qualifying for the last US Open, and has just eliminated Borna Coric.

Mannarino at home

The other fine French performance of the night came from Adrian Mannarino, who also outplayed a higher ranked player, Ben Shelton. The world No. 62 beat No. 39 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in 1:39. After winning the first set thanks to a break at 3-3, the Frenchman broke at the start of the second set and then seemed to be off to a good start. But the 20-year-old American, a surprising Australian Open quarter-finalist (but he hasn’t really confirmed since), didn’t let go, and unbroken immediately, before taking the serve again opponent at 3-2 and equalize at one set everywhere.

An awakening without a future, because in the third set, Mannarino dominated his opponent, breaking him at 2-1 and 4-1 after long games to clinch his ticket for the sixteenth. The Frenchman, who plays almost at home since he is based on the East Coast of the USA when he is not in the tournament, will now face the winner of the 2021 edition of the tournament, Hubert Hurkacz, who won a match madness in three tie-breaks (10-12 then 9-7 then 8-6) and 3h33 of play against Thanasi Kokkinakis (21 aces for the Pole, 23 for the Australian). Hurkacz leads 2-1 in his confrontations against the Frenchman.

Effective Medvedev

As for the favorites, Daniil Medvedev continued his journey by quietly disposing of Roberto Carballes Baena with a score of 6-1, 6-2 in 1h02. The Russian saved the only break point that the Spaniard got (in the third game of the match), and was very decisive on break points by converting four out of four. Next opponent: the Slovak Molcan. Qualification also of another Russian, Karen Khachanov, who needed three sets and 2h08 to eliminate the Argentinian Tomas Etcheverry (6-1, 3-6, 6-3). Frances Tiafoe, 14th in the world, also qualified for the sixteenth, beating Yosuke Watanuki 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 in 2h48, after being trailing by a set and a break.

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