Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev kept on their respective rolls Tuesday at the Miami Masters.
Playing under the hot sun in the afternoon, Medvedev cruised past Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-3 to reach his first Miami quarterfinal.
“It was definitely a tough match,” said Medvedev who improves to 17-2 on the year and 4-0 against Tiafoe. “A lot of great points, some of them he won, some of them I won.
“The serve helped me a lot today, especially in the second set.”
Medvedev will now meet Roberta Bautista Agut Wednesday night. The Spaniard had to save a match point to squeak out a very tough win over former champion John Isner 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7).
“John is a good friend in the tour,” Bautista Agut said. “He makes always difficult matches playing against him. He has a very big serve and a lot of power from baseline with the forehand. It makes it always difficult.
“I think I played a brilliant set the first set, and then with John you feel always under pressure. With two good shots he make me the break with backhand down the line, I remember. Well, and then the match changed, no? It was a really tough fight until the last point.”
Medvedev has never beaten the Bautista Agut, including a 3-set loss last year in Cincinnati-New York.
“The match in Cincinnati physically was a disaster for me,” said Medvedev. “I had a tough time just before coming there. Worked a lot but I had a tough time getting my shape together after all what happened before Cincinnati tournament.
“So was playing great tennis there, which I was surprised, but physically I was not able to hold the moment, and against somebody like Roberto, that’s important. I think that’s the main part. I had a lot of confidence coming in.
“Physically, again, I’m going to be feeling definitely better than two days ago or today, and I’m ready for a great fight against a great player.”
Andrey Rublev kept pace with his countryman breezing past Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 in the evening. Rublev will now meet tournament surprise Sebastian Korda. The 20-year-old American and son of former ATP great Petr Korda, earned his first career Top 10 win beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
“I played an incredible match today,” said Korda. “I think mentally I was great out there. I stayed calm. Even when in the tight situations I believed in myself and I went for it. I’m super proud of that. Just a lot of joy inside. All the hard work that I have done with my team is paying off.”
Korda served for the match at 5-4 in the third but got it done on his second try at 6-5 a few minutes later. The American who resides in Bradenton, Florida, also made the finals at Delray Beach to start the year. So he loves playing in his home state.
“I love the heat and I love the humidity. The hotter it is, the more humid it is, the happier I am,” Korda added. “Hopefully I can keep this run going and keep playing some good tennis and keep enjoying myself. All the fans, they always come out and support me. I can hear them every single match. It’s been super cool having a few fans come. Yeah, hopefully I can keep going on this great journey.”
Korda will have to deal with the hot-handed Rublev.
“I think it will be a lot of fun. We are both big hitters, and he’s having a great season and a great whole year pretty much,” Korda said. “He’s probably the hottest player on tour right now, and it’s going to be another cool opportunity for me and another cool experience to play such a player like him.”
In the first quarterfinal on Wednesday, Alexander Bublik will battle Jannik Sinner. Bublik stopped Taylor Fritz in three sets while Sinner upended Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-2.
Hubert Hurkacz eliminated his second straight Canadian. After toppling Denis Shapovalov, the Florida resident knocked out Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(6). The Polish No. 1 is now 7-0 in Florida this year after his Delray Beach title over Korda.
Hurkacz will now meet Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in his first Masters semifinal. The Greek beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-6(2).
“I’m playing well, feeling well, and enjoying these moments on the court,” Tsitsipas told the crowd. “I’m thrilled to be playing the way I’m playing. I’m having a great impact with my game so far this week, so it’s important for me to capitalize that.
“Each single opponent has been a separate challenge, and I’ve been managing to find solutions against them. It’s important for me to have matches like this.”
WEDNESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
(23) Sakkari vs. (2) Osaka
(21) Sinner vs. (32) Bublik
(8) Andreescu vs. Sorribes Tormo
(1) Medvedev vs. (7) Bautista Agut
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