The theme of the day in the men’s fourth round at Miami was big men. And the big men showed up with John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Alexander Zverev, Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic all winners and all securing quarterfinal berths.
Former semifinalist John Isner blanked Marin Cilic in an opening breaker then got a late break for a 7-6(0), 6-3 victory, one of his best in the last year.
Tomorrow, Isner will meet the surging Hyeon Chung who won his third consecutive straight sets win beating Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3. Isner has won 2 of 3 against the Korean but Chung beat him earlier this year in Auckland.
“It’s going to be tough,” Isner said. “He’s found the magic potion this year for sure. He’s playing incredibly well. It’s going to be a very tough match.”
Speaking of surging, del Potro increased his win streak to 14 after overcoming an early break to run away from Filip Krajanovic 6-4, 6-2. Del Potro won 11 of the last 13 games.
Up next will be a rematch from Indian Wells as Milos Raonic awaits. Under trial coach Goran Ivanisevic, the Canadian has been strong having not dropped serve in three matches after a good win today over Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4.
Raonic has never made it past the Miami quarterfinals. Del Potro was a semifinalist in Miami back in 2009.
“He’s showing good signs for his body, his game and he’s improving every day,” del Potro said of Raonic. “I also think he has a big potential to reach the final here, so it’s going to be a difficult challenge to me.”
Added Raonic of the matchup: “It’ll be a difficult match. Wasn’t that close of a match by any stretch of the imagination last week. I’m going to have to do a lot of things better,” he said. “He’s been the best player in the world for the past four, five weeks winning Acapulco, winning last week as well. [He's] playing well so far this week, so it’s going to be a difficult match. I’m going to have to do my things well if I want to give myself a chance.”
Frances Tiafoe finished off Tomas Berdych in a final set breaker, but Anderson took care of the American 7-6(3), 6-4.
On Thursday, Anderson will try to finally make a Masters semifinal against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta who knocked out his ailing countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-3.
In the match of the day, Borna Coric edged Denis Shapovalov 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4 to continue his recent run. Coric now gets another youngster in Alexander Zverev who had no trouble with Nick Kyrgios in a 6-4, 6-4 win under the lights.
Zverev raced out to a 4-1 lead before Kyrgios made things a little interesting. The Australian shrugged off a back injury and found some form late in the first, but Zverev was far too consistent in the second.
“It’s always entertaining playing him. I think the crowd enjoys it. The media hypes it up a little bit. We both enjoy this kind of stage. I think the crowd was loving it today,” Zverev said. “Obviously I’m very happy with how I played, and hopefully I can continue doing so in the next few rounds.”
Coric has taken both meetings from Zverev including an incredible win at the US Open last year. And the Croat just made the Indian Wells semifinals.
“He’s improved a lot, making the semifinals of Indian Wells, making the quarterfinals here already,” Zverev said of Coric. “I think he’s playing great ball. Hopefully it will be another entertaining one, and we’ll see how it goes.”
WEDNESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 10:45 am
WTA – A. Barty (AUS) / C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs N. Kichenok (UKR) / An. Rodionova (AUS)
WTA –  J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs  E. Svitolina (UKR)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP –  H. Chung (KOR) vs  J. Isner (USA)
WTA –  V. Williams (USA) vs [Q] D. Collins (USA)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP –  J. Del Potro (ARG) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
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