Novak Djokovic continued his Masters dominance Sunday evening easing past Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-1 in the third round at the Miami Open.
Djokovic, who has lost just once all season, is bidding for a sixth Miami title and third straight.
“[Sousa] made me play” Djokovic said. “He made me push myself harder in the second set because he was staying close to the baseline and picking up the balls very efficiently, which I wasn’t expecting. I thought he was going to be playing from back of the court a little bit more.
“He was taking time away from me, especially from the side he was playing with the wind. He’s a good player, he’s very talented, he’s very quick around the court; he served well. I started to read his serve better in the second and just didn’t give him enough rhythm to maneuver.”
Earlier in the day, a pair of Frenchmen advanced. Gilles Simon knocked out Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 and Richard Gasquet blew out fellow-Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-0.
Dominic Thiem and David Goffin also stayed in form cruising into the fourth round.
Thiem will now face Djokovic on Tuesday.
Tomas Berdych had a walkover in the last round, but today had his hands full in a tough 3-setter today with Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
In the match of the day, lucky loser Horacio Zeballos continued his magical run saving a matchpoint and fighting cramps to beat Fernando Verdasco 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4).
“During the third set, all of a sudden I started thinking, ‘I hope she’s not nervous,” Zeballos told the AP in Spanish. “It was crazy for me to be having those thoughts during the match. I am having a great time here, but I also want the baby to be born already and experience that moment of becoming a father. Hoping she can hang on a few more days.”
In the late match, Lucas Pouille earned his first career Top 10 win saving a matchpoint in an upset victory over former finalist David Ferrer 6-7(1), 7-6(4), 7-5.
Monday will see the return of 2-time champion Andy Murray who takes on Grigor Dimitrov.
“It’ll be a tough one,” Murray said about facing the Bulgarian who he leads 6-2. “We played here once before; I managed to win that one. I played a bunch of tough matches against him. I think the last one was in Cincinnati where he had a match point. Had a bunch of chances to win that one and I managed to turn it around.
“I know I’ll need to play good tennis to beat him.”
Milos Raonic also challenges Jack Sock and Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori are also in action.
MONDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA –  A. Radwanska (POL) vs  T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA –  S. Williams (USA) vs  S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
ATP –  G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
ATP –  G. Monfils (FRA) vs  P. Cuevas (URU)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP –  J. Sock (USA) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – T. Babos (HUN) vs  A. Kerber (GER)
GRANDSTAND start 10:50 am
ATP –  K. Nishikori (JPN) vs  A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP –  R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA –  V. Azarenka (BLR) vs  G. Muguruza (ESP)
ATP – [Q] T. Smyczek (USA) vs  N. Kyrgios (AUS)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP –  B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / V. Troicki (SRB)
ATP – D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ)
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