Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco get nasty in Twitter exchange

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Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco were involved in an ugly insult row on Twitter, after the Australian expressed his desire to see the Spaniard lose at the Miami Open.

22-year old Krygios wrote in a tweet, “I hope TK wins this match, verdasco is the saltiest dude, must be frustrated at his past success against aussies”. The tweet was soon deleted.

Verdasco had apparently argued with his opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final set of the last-32 encounter and accused his father of talking, while the former took his serves.

Verdasco eventually went on to win that game 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4), to better his poor record against Australian players, and will now face Pablo Carreno Busta in the last-16.

Although, after the game ended the 34-year old replied to Krygios tweet, saying “@NickKyrgios when you have the courage to put a tweet insulting another player you need to have the same to don’t delete it.”

That provoked another reply from the often out-spoken Krygios. “I would honestly have told it to Fernando’s face, the reason I deleted my previous tweet was because I didn’t want to cause unwanted attention, but I’m just gonna leave this here. Thanks for blocking me, I’m sure that took a lot of courage x”.

Meanwhile, Krygios will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev, after an easy 6-3 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini.

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Stats and takeaways as Roger Federer loses his No.1 ranking following defeat in Miami

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Massive upset: Courtesy of Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Thanasi Kokkinakis pulled off the biggest upset of his career as he ended Roger Federer’s title defence in the Miami Open second round 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Saturday in Key Biscayne.

The Australian world No. 175, who was granted a wildcard into the Miami qualifying rounds, is on the comeback trail from a series of injuries that have hampered him over the past two seasons and at 21, is still looking to fulfil his potential and put his physical issues behind him.

Here’s a closer look at the stats and takeaways from Kokkinakis’ massive victory over Federer.

TOP RANKING SLIPS AWAY FROM FEDERER

The Swiss’ defeat to Kokkinakis did not just end his title defence in Miami, but it also means that Federer will lose the No. 1 ranking next week and will be replaced at the top by the currently injured Rafael Nadal.

Federer needed to at least reach the quarter-finals in Miami to retain his position at the summit but instead faltered in his opener in Key Biscayne.

“I deserve it after this match. That’s how I feel. Just so bad,” said Federer of losing the top spot.

CONSECUTIVE LOSSES

Federer’s loss to Kokkinakis is second consecutive defeat, having fallen to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Indian Wells final last Sunday.

This is the first time Federer has lost back-to-back matches since 2014, when he fell in the Monte Carlo final to Stan Wawrinka, then lost his Rome opener to Jeremy Chardy.

BIGGEST UPSET OF A WORLD NO. 1 IN 15 YEARS

Kokkinakis is the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 since a 178th-ranked Francisco Clavet upset a top-ranked Lleyton Hewitt in Miami in 2003.

Federer was a quarter-finalist at in that Miami tournament in 2003, while Kokkinakis was six years old.

Here’s a look at the lowest-ranked players to upset a world No. 1 on the ATP tour since 1984 (via atpworldtour.com):

Upsets of No. 1

RARE OCCASION FOR ROGER

This is just the second time Federer has lost to someone ranked as low as the 175th-ranked Kokkinakis in 18 seasons. The only other time within that period was when he fell to a 302nd-ranked Tommy Haas in the Stuttgart second round last year.

A FIRST FOR KOKKINAKIS

This is the first top-five victory of Kokkinakis’ career and the second against a top-10 opponent. The young Aussie defeated a sixth-ranked Milos Raonic in at the Queen’s Club last year.

IT WAS SUPER TIGHT

Federer actually won two more points than Kokkinakis in that match. The Swiss won 98 points compared to Kokkinakis’ 96.

The top seed also had a positive winners-unforced errors differential of 39-31 while Kokkinakis hit 25 winners against 27 unforced errors.

“He was just a bit better than me today, you know. What exactly that was, I think you probably have to break it down to the key moments. He was a bit more relaxed. I was in search mode the whole match. I never got going,” said Federer.

Kokkinakis didn’t necessarily serve too well, landing just 52 per cent of his first serves in but he hit 12 forehand winners and 10 service winners, including seven aces.

“Winning a lot of baseline rallies and dictating with my forehand, I think when I’m playing like that off the ground, I can be very dangerous,” said Kokkinakis after the win.

The Aussie was also a successful 9/11 at the net while Federer was 26/36.

NOT DAUNTED BY THE CHALLENGE OF RF

Kokkinakis has spent time practicing with Federer in Dubai, last year and in 2014, and that probably helped him on court against the 36-year-old on Saturday.

He also doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and was clutch when he needed it the most.

“Yeah, I mean, everyone is human. He just plays tennis a lot better than a lot of people,” said Kokkinakis of Federer.

MASTER-FUL THANASI

This is the first time Kokkinakis has posted back-to-back main draw wins at an ATP Masters 1000 event since Indian Wells 2015, when he made the third round before losing to Bernard Tomic. It was also just his second-ever main draw victory in Miami, while Federer is a three-time champion at the tournament (2005, 2006, 2017).

What a day. 🐐🐔 #keephustlin

A post shared by Thanasi Kokkinakis 🐓 (@the_kokk1) on

NO CATASTROPHE FOR FEDERER

Federer remains a stunning 69-7 win-loss since he returned from a six-month injury break in January 2017 and is 17-2 this season. His two defeats in the last seven days were 7-6 in the third (against Del Potro and Kokkinakis) and he is likely to get back the top spot during the clay season, even without playing, since Nadal is defending 4,680 points on the red dirt and is still recovering from his psoas issue.

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Monica Puig produces stunning upset to defeat Caroline Wozniacki in Miami

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Monica Puig

World No2 Caroline Wozniacki and rising star Naomi Osaka became early round casualties while veteran Venus Williams survived a scare to book her third round spot at the Miami Open.

Wozniacki slumped to a shock 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico while Osaka’s bid for the “Sunshine Double” of Indian Wells and Miami Open titles ended with a 6-4, 6-2 loss to fourth seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

The 24-year-old Puig compared her win over reigning Australian Open champion Wozniacki to her gold medal triumph at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It felt like Rio all over again,” Puig said. “I have been waiting for this and to finally start finding myself again.”

The 27-year-old Wozniacki appeared to be headed to an easy victory after winning the first set in less than 30 minutes before the wheels fell off. World number 82 Puig clinched the win with a blistering forehand winner on the second match point.

“I just tried to stay positive,” she said. “I didn’t think I played that poorly in the first set. She’s a great player so I had to stay focused and keep fighting.”

Puig became the first Puerto Rican athlete to win gold in any sport at the Olympics when she beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the final.

It was another disappointing exit for Wozniacki, who finally silenced her critics earlier this year with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, where she defeated Simona Halep in the final.

Wozniacki drops to 17-5 on the season as she has now crashed out of her last two tournaments in stunning fashion. In her most recent WTA event in Indian Wells, Wozniacki was upset in the round of 16 by Russian dynamo Daria Kasatkina.

Japan’s Osaka came into the second-round match against Svitolina on an eight-match winning streak that included her dream run to the Indian Wells title and a first-round triumph here over 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

But it was Svitolina who emerged with a victory thanks to a solid service performance that saw her win nearly 80 percent of points on her first serve.

Four service breaks

Svitolina saved five of six break points she faced and broke Osaka four times en route to the victory in an hour and 23 minutes.

Osaka saved two match points before holding for 5-2 in the second set, but she was unable to convert three break points in the next game as Svitolina sealed the win.

“It was challenging. I’m very happy the way I handled this match today and the way I was playing,” Svitolina said.

In other second-round action on Friday, seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams stormed back from deficits in each set to defeat world number 88 Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5, 6-4.

The 37-year-old American improved to 7-3 on the season as she clinched the victory on the second match point when the 21-year-old Russian smacked a forehand wide.

Williams trailed 2-5 in the first set but won five straight games to take the opener. She also rallied in the second set, falling behind 0-3 before winning six of the next seven for the victory.

Ninth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova defeated 19-year-old Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Provided by AFP Sport 

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