Dan Evans fell to Kazakhstans Alexander Bublik in qualifying but was handed a reprieve as he reached the main draw of the Miami Open courtesy of a lucky loser spot.
The British No. 3 was beaten 6-4 6-4 by the world No. 131 on Wednesday but he was entered into a lucky loser draw as one of the top-three ranked players to be beaten in the final round of qualifying.
Two of them were to advance and Evans was drawn out the hat to set up a first-round tie with Malek Jaziri.
Should Evans beat the 35-year-old Tunisian, he will take on Canadas Denis Shapovalov in round two.
His compatriot Jay Clarke was forced to pack his bags after going down 6-4 6-4 to Indias Prajnesh Gunneswaran.
Former world No. 4 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also failed to reach the main draw after being handed a tough draw against Uruguays Pablo Cuevas.
Cuevas – a former top-20 player – defeated the Frenchman 6-4 6-4.
It was better news for Canadian prodigy Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat Italys Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 (7-1) 6-2.
Novak Djokovic may also count himself fortunate to avoid a potentially testing second-round tie with Tomas Berdych, after the Czech pulled out of the tournament.
— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) March 20, 2019
He posted on Twitter: Not a good day in the office, unfortunately I have to pull out from my first round match.
My back is not in the 100% conditions and I have to be careful with my decisions. Need time to recover and be strong again.
Berdych was due to face Aussie bad boy Bernard Tomic in his opening match but a lucky loser will now take his place.
Elsewhere, two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka fought hard to earn the first win on the stadium court at the new Miami Open site.
The Belarusian – a three-time Miami champion at the old Crandon Park Venue – defeated Dominika Cibulkova on the 13,800-seat stadium 6-2 3-6 6-4.
Even though we know each other pretty well, I feel that we havent played in a few years, Azarenka said. I feel the last time was actually in Miami but five years ago or so.
Shes a very dangerous opponent, because no matter how many, she comes off confident or not confident against top players, shes always bringing a little bit of a next level and good game.
Shes a big fighter. So I knew its not going to be easy, for sure.
Azarenka will go on to face French 19th seed Caroline Garcia in round two.