Tennis: Escobdeo upsets Evans in Miami

Ernesto Escobedo reacts during his match against Daniel Evans of Great Britain during the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Centre, on March 22, 2017.
Ernesto Escobedo reacts during his match against Daniel Evans of Great Britain during the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Centre, on March 22, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Young American Ernesto Escobedo pulled off a surprise victory in three sets over Britain's Dan Evans in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday (March 22).

The 20-year-old Mexican-American, who grew up playing on rough public courts in Los Angeles, is playing in his Masters 1000 series event having qualified with a straight sets win over Argentine Renzo Olivo on Tuesday.

Escobedo, ranked 108th, beat the 43rd ranked Evans 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 at Crandon Park thanks mainly to his strong first serve, which included ten aces.

"This day is very special for me. I qualified for my first Masters 1000 here in Miami and I played a tricky opponent who serves pretty well. It is pretty big to get my first win here," Escobedo told reporters.

"I started pretty slow but once I broke back I felt pretty comfortable and kept patient. In the second set I just didn't focus at all and my energy was very low but I am just happy to have stepped it up in the third set," he added.

Escobedo will now face 25th-seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round and he can expect plenty of support from a strongly Hispanic South Florida crowd.

For Evans it was another setback after he went out in the second round in Indian Wells.

"He played pretty well. I needed to get on top early in the third set and I think he would have gone away but I didn't," said Evans.

"I have been serving poorly for a little bit and I wasn't winning my points on my second serve," said the Englishman, who was given a penalty point for bad language and racket abuse and also had a verbal exchange with a fan at one stage.

Another American hopeful, Ryan Harrison, bowed out with a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Italy's 40th ranked Fabio Fognini while his compatriot Michael Mmoh was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by France's Nicolas Mahut.

Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka triumped in a two-hour battle with Australia's Jordan Thompson.

Nishioka, who reached the fourth round at Indian Wells last week, saved 11 of 14 break points to secure the 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win.

France's Benoit Paire beat Slovak Martin Klizan 7-6(4), 6-3 to earn a second-round challenge with 21st seed Pablo Cuevas.