The top-seeded Daniil Medvedev reached the quarter-finals of the Miami Open on Tuesday by defeating Jenson Brooksby of the U.S. 7-5 6-1 and only Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the defending champion at the Miami Open Masters can now prevent him from regaining the No.1 spot on the world rankings in the last eight.
It is a little challenging to face an opponent with an injury, when you have a strap around the calf it means it was something he was struggling with, It sounds cruel but you try to use it to your advantage. I was able to move him quite well and I saw from the first point he wasn't as comfortable as he usually is. Casper Ruud
The pair meet in the quarter-finals stage of the Florida tournament having successfully negotiated their past their respective fourth round opponents.
Medvedev made a slow start to his match with Brooksby but once he got his eye in the Muscovite controlled it going through for a straight sets victory, his third on the run at the Miami tournament.
But not before Brooksby again showed his potential by taking an early lead, breaking Medvedev’s first service game and even had a chance of taking the first set off the top seed at the event when leading 5-4 30-15!
It was then that the Medvedev game kicked in as he won the next 11 of 13 points to turn the game around and go to snatch the set by breaking the American, serving to love for 6-5 and then breaking the 21-year-old for the second consecutive time for the set.
Once in control the second set was never in doubt with Medvedev continuing his run of games to lead 3-0 and winning 16 of the 19 points he delivered on his serve.
“Jenson has the potential to be a top player,” Medvedev said. “When you say top, you never know — No. 1, No. 3 or No. 10 — but he’s a really good player and I think he’s playing better than his ranking (of 39).”
Meanwhile his next opponent, Hubert Hurkacz, snapped Springbok Lloyd Harris’s run 7-6(3) 6-2 to improve his successes at the Miami Open to 11 having only suffered one loss there two years ago.
After saving two break points midway through a competitive opening set, the Pole won the last five points of the tie-break before Harris hit back with an early break in the second. But that would be the last game the South African won in the match, as Hurkacz swept up the final six games.
British interest came to a close early in the day when Cameron Norrie was knocked out by the sixth seeded Casper Ruud of Norway 6-3 6-4.
With his left leg heavily strapped he was clearly hampered for he couldn’t produce his usual speed and accuracy on court to derail the Norwegian who converted three of the eight break points he raised.
However, despite his loss, Norrie is expected to break into the top ten for the first time in his career when the latest rankings are announced next week.
“It is a little challenging to face an opponent with an injury, when you have a strap around the calf it means it was something he was struggling with,” Ruud said later when explaining his tactics.
“It sounds cruel but you try to use it to your advantage. I was able to move him quite well and I saw from the first point he wasn’t as comfortable as he usually is.”
Germanys Alexander Zverev, the second seed, should provide Ruud with greater problems when they meet in the quarters, Zverev having dispatched a resurgent Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-4 6-4.
Kokkinakis was joined by his friend and doubles partner Nick Kyrgios but not before he had enacted a series of outbursts as he crashed out to the ninth seed, Italy’s fast rising star, Jannik Sinner, 7-6(3) 6-3.
There were early signs that Kyrgios’ frustration would boil over when he complained about the state of the court almost as soon as he set foot on it and then labelling the crowd “the worst, everyone’s just the worst.”
But it was a bizarre moment involving the chair umpire that really pushed Kyrgios over the edge amid his straight-sets loss to the 20-year-old Sinner.
With scores locked at 4-4 in the opening set, the walkie talkie of Brazilian umpire Carlos Bernardes went off loudly, sparking a heated personal attack from Kyrgios.
“He should be fired on the spot,” Kyrgios claimed.
“How is that possible? A fourth round of Miami, one of the biggest tournaments and you guys just can’t do your job.
“It’s embarrassing. Get a new set of referees, these guys don’t know how to do s***. Walky-talkies going off.
“It’s a joke. He is a joke. Get rid of every single staff and start over. Everything. I will run the sport.
“I could do 100 times a better job. Marketing. Everything. You guys have no idea. None. You guys can’t even ref right.”
But that was only the start of his battle with Bernardes, an umpire he has had run-ins with in the past.
While Kyrgios was being outplayed in the opening set tiebreak, the world No. 102 blasted Bernardes for failing to control the crowd in Miami.
“You have absolutely no idea how to control this crowd, pretty sad,” Kyrgios said.
When Kyrgios started talking further about him, Bernardes gave him his second code violation, which meant a point penalty for the Australian and put him set point down.
At the end of the set, Kyrgios continued by asking how it could have been unsportsmanlike conduct as he claimed he was only talking to a friend in the crowd.
“I didn’t even say anything to you,” Kyrgios said.
“What? What does that mean?
“What’s unsportsmanlike about it? What is unsportsmanlike? But what is unsportsmanlike?
To which Bernardes, by now understandably growing more irritated, explained: “You were talking about me.”
Sinner, who remined quiet throughout the various outbursts, goes on to play Francisco Cerundolo after the Argentine beat Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. 6-7(2) 7-6(3) 6-2 thereby avenging Tiafoe’s win over his brother Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the previous round.
Finally the fourth quarter-final will see 14th seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain against unseeded Serbian, Miomir Kecmanovic both of whom pulled off upsets — the former taking out the third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 6-3 and the latter ousting the Indian Wells champion, the 13th seed Taylor Fritz, 3-6 6-1 6-4.
“I knew that Stefanos is a player who always is looking for his forehand,” Alcaraz, who clinched the victory on his fourth match point, said when explaining his tactics.
“I tried to hit two or three backhands cross-court and then switch to down the line, to his running forehand. It was a key. I think he lives in the backhand side all the time, looking for his forehand, as I said. It was pretty important, the backhand down the line.”