Nadal, Djokovic, Federer Roll Into Quarter-finals
by ATP Staff|
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic booked their places in the Sony Ericsson Open quarter-finals within minutes of each other Tuesday evening in Miami, and World No. 3 Roger Federer completed an exceptional day for the tour's top trio with an impressive showing in a post-midnight match.
Nadal took just shy of an hour to dismiss Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-2 on Stadium court, and Djokovic followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki on Grandstand.
Nadal and Djokovic are on course for a second straight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final showdown after facing off two Sundays ago at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Djokovic rallied to defeat the World No. 1 in three sets on that occasion, claiming his third tour-level title of 2011 (Australian Open, Dubai).
Nadal, a two-time runner-up in Miami, will next face World No. 7 Tomas Berdych after the Czech battled for a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4) win over German Florian Mayer earlier in the day.
“Difficult match always,” Nadal said of playing Berdych. “We know each other. We played a lot of times, and I know [if I] play my best tennis I’m going to have chances against him. He can play very, very good, and I have to play very solid all the time with my serve and wait a chance on the return.”
Djokovic will take a 21-0 season record into his quarter-final match against unseeded South African Kevin Anderson, and is unbeaten in 23 straight matches dating back to last December’s Davis Cup final.
However, Anderson has won their one previous meeting, three years ago at this tournament when he surprised the defending champion in the second round.
“I will have an opportunity to get my revenge in the same court where I lost in 2008,” said Djokovic. “But he keeps on playing really well on these courts, and you've got to give him credit for that. He beat some very good players. Big serve, very aggressive. So tomorrow night we are going to play where conditions are going to be a little bit slower, which I guess is a little bit better for me.”
Anderson, who opened his week by defeating Nikolay Davydenko, reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over 30th-seeded American John Isner.
After waiting till 12.36 a.m. to get on court due to Maria Sharapova’s 3 hr., 29 min win in the first match of the night session, Roger Federer was in no mood for a protracted encounter with Belgian Olivier Rochus. The 17-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion and two-time Sony Ericsson Open winner used his deep offensive arsenal to keep points short against Rochus, winning 6-3, 6-1 in just 52 minutes.
“It's happened a few times in my career where we waited around forever and I was able to play one of those clean, quick matches, but still, I prefer it not to happen every night,” said Federer.
Federer, who dropped just five points on serve, will next meet French counterpuncher Gilles Simon, who defeated Serb Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.
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