Novak Djokovic’s struggles in March and against Roberto Bautista Agut continued Tuesday in Miami. The 6-time champion was bounced by the Spaniard 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth round, his fourth straight early exit in Masters play in March.
It was also his third straight defeat on hard courts to the Spaniard.
Djokovic, though, was in complete control of the match early on, winning seven of the first eight games. Rain delays played havoc late in the second at 5-all, then the Serb was out of sorts in the decider.
“He’s a solid player. Congratulations to him definitely for a great comeback,” Djokovic said. “But this kind of match I should not have lost. So many opportunities. Just way too many wasted opportunities. This is what happens when you don’t capitalize on time.”
Bautista Agut reaches his first Miami quarterfinal.
“I played more aggressive. I tried to miss fewer balls, to be really concentrated on the beginning of the point with my serve, with my return. At the end, it worked well,” Bautista Agut said.
Next for Bautista Agut will be defending champion John Isner who edged Kyle Edmund 7-6(5), 7-6(3). Edmund was ahead 4-1 in the first set breaker but dropped six of the next seven points.
The youth brigade was in full movement Tuesday. Denis Shapovalov closed out a late evening thriller over Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) which ended just before 1:40am.
“I knew Stefanos was going to be a tough match. I was ready for a long battle and, sure enough, it went the distance,” said Shapovalov. “I’m just happy with the way I controlled myself and the way I played today.”
Shapovalov will meet another NextGenner in Frances Tiafoe on Thursday. The American took down former Miami semifinalist David Goffin 7-5, 7-6(6).
“It’s always great to play Frances. We’re really good buddies and I think very highly of him. He’s going to be a great champion and he’s got a really bright future ahead of him,” said Shapovalov. “It’s going to be an exciting match. We’re both shotmakers, so I’m just ready for another fun [and] tough match.”
Shapovalov won’t be the only Canadian teen in the last eight of Miami. Eighteen-year-old qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime continued to blossom becoming the youngest Maimi quarterfinals since Andy Roddick in 2001 by beating Nikolaz Basilashvili 7-6(4), 6-4.
“It was about finding ways. I think in the tie-break, I was able to be a bit more solid and pressure him a little bit more, and it really made a difference,” said Auger-Aliassime, who will next face 11th seed Borna Coric. “After, I felt like I had an edge over him in the second set, being up a break twice and being able to secure my serve at the end. So it was more my way then.”
Tonight, the youngster will meet Borna Coric who dispatched Nick Kyrgios in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Roger Federer – Daniil Medvedev match was called due to rain last night. It will be played today with Kevin Anderson awaiting the winner tomorrow in the quarters. Isner and Bautista Agut will also square off this afternoon.
WEDNESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
Stadium 1:00 Pm
QF 18 Qiang Wang v 2 Simona Halep
Not Before 3:00 Pm
4th Rd 13 Daniil Medvedev v 4 Roger Federer
QF 22 Roberto Bautista Agut v 7 John Isner
Not Before 7:00 Pm
QF 5 Karolina Pliskova v Marketa Vondrousova
Not Before 9:00 Pm
QF (Q) Felix AugerAliassime v 11 Borna Coric
You Might Like:
Bautista Agut Batters Finals Rookie Medvedev for ATP Chennai Crown
Cilic, Anderson Headlines ATP India Stop in Pune; Preview
Bautista Agut, Tsonga, Popular Fognini Lead ATP St. Petersburg; Preview
Wozniacki Breezes to Rain-Delayed WTA Rogers Cup Title
Wawrinka Looks to Find Form Again at ATP Marseilles; Preview