Roger Federer grabs quarter-final spot in Miami Open with hard-fought win
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 10, 2017,
Apr 10, 2017, 23:14
They were scheduled to meet in the quarter-final earlier this month at Indian Wells but the 21-year-old pulled out due to illness.
Roger Federer survived a stern test from Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the Miami Open quarter-finals while top-seeded Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka was eliminated on his birthday.
Fourth seed Federer's two titles in Miami came back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 but he easily outclassed Del Potro, whose form since recuperating from his own injury woes has been far shakier than his more illustrious opponent's.
Asked if this was the best he had ever played, Federer said, "For me, it's hard to say yes to that question". I feel like I earned it more. "The game has evolved and I had to adjust and change, but overall I do believe I'm probably a better player than I was ten years ago".
7-6 (7/4) victory on his third match-point, shortly after Wawrinka fell 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to 16th-seeded German teenager Alexander Zverev.
"I played well in the second and third", Zverev said. We were both fighting a little bit in the first set to find good level. "I had to be aggressive". The world No. 20 saved three set points to achieve the hard-fought win.
"I tried to stay calm and focus again", said Nishikori, regarding the loss of the second set.
To date, the two tennis players have only met once in the Masters 1000 at Madrid in 2015, in which the Australian won in a match with three playoffs, 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5) and 7- 6 (12). Federer had to fight off two match points before securing a win, setting up a semi-final showdown against Kyrgios. "He played well in the break-point moments and I think that was the only difference in the match".
Swiss 35-year-old Federer had a battle with Bautista Agut, and seemed to enjoy himself.
Berdych served for the match at 6-4 in the tiebreak, but could not convert, with Federer reeling off four points in a row, winning when Berdych double-faulted.
He cracked a slight smile as the crowd roared.
Coming into the quarter-finals, Berdych had dropped serve just once in the tournament.
Nadal, then 17, stunned Federer that day at Key Biscayne 6-3, 6-3, the first of the 36-and-counting matches between them.