Novak Djokovic wasn’t at his top level but got through to the fourth round in Miami with a tough 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 win over Federico Delbonis late Sunday afternoon.
The Serb, who is seeking a seventh Miami crown, led by 5-2 in the first set and was also up a break early in the second, and at times was clearly not pleased with his play and his mental state.
“To be honest, I lost my focus,” said Djokovic. “I should have done better mentally than I did in the first set and also the end of second set. I managed to really play well the last couple games of the first set, to go up a break and put myself in front, but then I played a couple of really bad service games.
“Credit to Federico, he stepped in. He was the one controlling the pace. I backed up. I didn’t have that much depth and power in my shots and he used it. He didn’t have anything to lose. I think the first two, three games of the third set were crucial, really fighting, trying to be present, regain the positioning on the court more than anything. I think the last four games were terrific, so I ended up in a positive way.”
Djokovic will have a day off before returning to take on Roberto Bautista Agut who got past Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-4.
Late in the evening, Borna Coric and Nick Kyrgios set up a tasty fourth round meeting. Coric came from a set down to deny Jeremy Chardy 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 while Kyrgios hammered Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-1.
Kyrgios had his full arsenal of tricks including no-look volleys, underhand serves and he even got a front-row spectator tossed.
“I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring on the tennis court, but I’m going out there and having fun,” said Kyrgios. “I served well and returned well and I’m really happy. Today it was a pretty good all-around performance.
“Borna is an unbelievable competitor and one of the best players in the world,” Kyrgios added. “He knows how to win matches and is an unbelievable athlete. He moves incredibly well and I know he won’t give me a single point. I’m not going to think about it right now though. I have a day off tomorrow.”
The lone upset on the day went to Kyle Edmund who sent off Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4. Edmund will now meet defending champion John Isner who came from an early break down in the first to beat lefty Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 7-6(6).
Canadian teen sensation Felix Auger-Aliassime moved on dispatching Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5), 6-4. He’ll now face the big-hitting Nikolaz Basalishvili.
“Entering Buenos Aires, I was actually scared of not winning many matches this year,” assessed Auger-Aliassime. “But then after Rio, I told myself that I’m doing good work and to trust in my game and be instinctive on the court. Whenever these thoughts come in your mind, it’s all about doing the best to stay in the present. I need to focus on my tennis and on my game. To try to find ways to win. That keeps me in the present.”
On tap Monday, 3-time champion Roger Federer returns against Filip Krajinovic. Daniil Medvedev meets the towering Reilly Opelka and David Ferrer continues his farewell Miami Open against American youngster Frances Tiafoe.
MIAMI MONDAY SCHEDULE
Stadium 12:00 Noon
4th Rd 3 Petra Kvitova v 19 Caroline Garcia
Not Before 1:00 Pm
3rd Rd Filip Krajinovic v 4 Roger Federer
Not Before 4:00 Pm
4th Rd Venus Williams v 2 Simona Halep
Not Before 7:30 Pm
3rd Rd 28 Frances Tiafoe v (WC) David Ferrer
Not Before 9:00 Pm
4th Rd 5 Karolina Pliskova v Yulia Putintseva
Grandstand 12:00 Noon
3rd Rd 6 Kevin Anderson v Joao Sousa
Not Before 2:00 Pm
4th Rd 27 SuWei Hsieh v 13 Caroline Wozniacki
3rd Rd 20 Denis Shapovalov v (Q) Andrey Rublev
3rd Rd 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas v Leonardo Mayer
Not Before 7:00 Pm
4th Rd Marketa Vondrousova v Tatjana Maria
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