Published March 22, 2012
| Sports Network
Miami, FL – Rising American Ryan Harrison was a come-from- round winner, while former top-10 star Marcos Baghdatis cruised Thursday at the Sony Ericsson Open.
The 19-year-old wild card Harrison fought back to beat Italian Potito Starace 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4 on the hardcourts at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park. Harrison swatted 11 aces and was not broken in the 2-hour, 22-minute affair.
The young American improved top 10-6 for the year.
"From the maturity standpoint I'm able to focus on the task at hand more than frustration and things not going my way," Harrison said. "I'm learning how to take things and say, 'Even though to this point I haven't been able to execute what I want to, let's keep trying. Let's not dwell on what hasn't happened. Let's look forward to making sure that I try to do everything I can to make positive things happen.'"
Harrison is rewarded with a second-round match against last week's Indian Wells champion Roger Federer. The great Federer is tied with Rafael Nadal with a record 19 career Masters titles, including two here in Miami.
The former Australian Open runner-up Baghdatis, meanwhile, rolled in a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Argentine Leonardo Mayer. The excitable Cypriot is rewarded with a second-round match against world No. 1 superstar Novak Djokovic.
Russian Igor Kunitsyn edged out American wild card Jesse Levine 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3) on Day 2.
Also advancing Thursday was Spaniard Albert Ramos, German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, and 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic, who launched 27 aces before taking out Poland's Lukasz Kubot in three sets in just over three hours. Karlovic will tangle with former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday.
The top seeds for this 12-day event are Djokovic, former top- ranked greats Nadal and Federer, and 2009 Miami winner Andy Murray. The two-time Sony Ericsson champion Djokovic beat Nadal in last year's marquee finale.
The winner of this lucrative $3.973 million tournament will claim $659,775.