Federer and Nadal reach Miami Open quarters as Stan Wawrinka falls

Yesterday in Miami Open round of 16 action, Federer beat an in-form Roberto Bautista Agut in two tiebreakers 7-6(5), 7-6(4) to go up 16-1 this season.

“I felt good overall. It was a different kind of match,” said Federer. “It wasn’t the big-serving match where you’re only going to see so many looks, so when you miss chances you always feel a bit frustrated sometimes. That’s where you got to keep a positive mindset and make the right plays.”

“I thought Roberto did a good job of making shots, staying offensive when he could, fending off a lot of good shots that I hit. Then it was tough. The sun was coming from the side in the beginning so it’s hard to chase the lines. At the end, I’m very happy and pleased that I got it done in straight sets.”

Next up for Federer is Tomas Berdych on Thursday. The Czech had no trouble dismantling Adrian Mannarino of France 6-3, 7-5. They last met in the 3rd round in this year’s Australian Open where Federer won easily in straight sets.

Nadal also was tested by the Doubles No. 1 Nicolas Mahut but prevailed 6-4, 7-6(4). Rafa never lost his serve or faced a break point. And he returns today against Jack Sock, who easily beat countryman Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-1.

Nadal won both previous meetings against the American No.1.

“He’s a very aggressive player, very powerful player, big serve, big forehand, and a good backhand, too,” Nadal said of Sock. ‘He plays quickly with his backhand. So I need to play aggressively. That’s the only way. If I let him play in a comfortable position it’s going to be impossible for me. So I need to be the focus with my serve, but at the same time I need to be aggressive.”

Sock’s appearing in his first Miami quarterfinal and became the first American man since Agassi in 1999 to reach the quarterfinals of four consecutive Masters 1000 events.

Kei Nishikori will be back again today to battle Italy’s Fabio Fognini. Nishikori outlasted Federico Delbonis 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 even after making 40 unforced errors. Nishikori, a finalist a year ago, has now won 15 of his last 17 matches in Miami. Fognini steamrolled over  Donald Young 6-0, 6-4 to reach his first Miami quarterfinal.

And in the big upset of the day, 19-year-old Alexander Zverev knocked off top seed Stan Wawrinka 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to earn a place in his first Miami quarterfinal.

“I had to be aggressive. I felt like he was the one controlling all the points all the time, so I had to change that. It worked out well for me. Happy to be in the quarter-finals now. Hopefully, I can play as great as I did today,” Zverev said.

Zverev is now 2-0 up against the Swiss No. 1.

“Both times I played him I played very high confidence and I played very well,” Zverev said. “I think we both have one of the best backhands on tour, both of us so that maybe helps me a little bit. He likes to use that corner a lot on the opponent.”

Added Wawrinka, “One bad game to start the second set and then it was tough for me… I completely went down physically and mentally, and also my tennis was completely out. I had no more gas.”

Zverev now gets a rematch with Nick Kyrgios who beat David Goffin 7-6(5), 6-3. Kyrgios beat Zverev just the last week at Indian Wells.

So are we heading for another Rafa vs Roger final? It looks that way as both legends continue to play up to their credentials.

WEDNESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE

STADIUM start 10:45 am
WTA – A. Klepac (SLO) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) vs [5] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI)
1:00 pm

WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs [10] J. Konta (GBR)
Not Before 3:00 pm

ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [2] K. Nishikori (JPN)7:00 pm

WTA – [1] A. Kerber (GER) vs [11] V. Williams (USA)
Not Before 9:00 pm

ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [13] J. Sock (USA)

Matches start at 8:30 pm in India.

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