Alexei Popyrin builds on recent momentum with win at Miami Open

Australia's Alexei Popyrin makes a forehand return to South Africa's Lloyd Harris during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. (Andy Brownbill/AP)

MIAMI — Alexei Popyrin built on his recent momentum by beating Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-6 (4) Wednesday on the first day of men’s play at the Miami Open.

Popyrin, a 21-year-old Australian who won his first ATP Tour title late last month in Singapore, will next play big-serving American Reilly Opelka, who is seeded 30th.

Lopez, 39, was the oldest player in the men’s draw.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, runner-up at the recent Open 13 in Marseille, France, beat Pedro Sousa 6-1, 6-3. Herbert will next face No. 11-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil was ousted by American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours three minutes.

On the women’s side, wild-card Ana Konjuh of Croatia won her first main-draw match in a WTA event since 2018 when she beat Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (3), 7-5. Konjuh’s career has been slowed by four elbow surgeries.

Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain overcame two match points and a 5-1 deficit in the final set to overtake Bernarda Pera 6-2, 2-6, 7-5. American Danielle Collins swept Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-3.

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