08:00 PM GMT May 01, 2021
Arthur Cazaux, an 18-year-old who climbed as high as World No. 4 in the juniors, made an impressive start to his Mutua Madrid Open qualifying effort on Saturday. The Frenchman upset 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda 7-6(3), 6-4 to reach the final round of qualifying.
Cazaux is the No. 603 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings and he has never played a tour-level match. But the teen impressed inside Stadium 3, breaking Korda's serve three times to set a clash against Singapore champion Alexei Popyrin after one hour and 37 minutes.
This was Cazaux's fourth match in tour-level qualifying, and he had never previously won a set. Last year he fell against Aslan Karatsev in Roland Garros qualifying and he lost to Marton Fucsovics in the first round of Rolex Paris Masters qualifying.
In other action, #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti moved past Moldovan Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old will next challenge Spaniard Carlos Taberner, who defeated Jordan Thompson 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2, for a spot in the main draw.
It was a tough day for seeded players in qualifying, as five of the top six seeds lost. Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero ousted top seed Laslo Djere 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 and Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert eased past two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-2. Fifth seed Frances Tiafoe also went down, as 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato beat the American 7-6(4), 6-2.
The highest seed remaining in qualifying is second seed Yoshihito Nishioka, who battled past Uruguayan veteran Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-4. The Japanese lefty will play American Marcos Giron to move into the main draw.