Miami | Zverev keen to avenge last year’s loss
Alexander Zverev has yet to recapture the form which saw him collect five singles titles including two at Masters level last year, but he looks to be on the right track as for the third consecutive time, he recovered to win in three sets.
On this occasion the 20-year-old world No.5 made it to the last 16 with a 2-6 6-2 6-4 victory over the Spanish veteran David Ferrer recovering from a poor first set to break the Spaniard three times in the second set and twice in the decider.
Hopefully we can show another (great match) like last year here. Hopefully it will be entertaining Alexander Zverev
He will next face Australian Nick Kyrgios, who advanced with a 6-3 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini.
“Hopefully we can show another (great match) like last year here. Hopefully it will be entertaining,” Zverev of their forthcoming encounter when he hopes to avenge his three set defeat to the Aussie 12 months ago at the same venue.
In earlier action, Fernando Verdasco dug deep to earn a 3-6 6-4 7-6(4) win over Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis to set up a fourth-round clash against fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
The 34-year-old fired down 13 aces to beat Kokkinakis, who had been full of confidence after stunning world number one and defending champion Roger Federer in the second round.
Verdasco, who reached the Miami quarter-finals in 2009 and 2010, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third set and again from 3-0 down in the decisive tiebreaker before prevailing in an acrimonious match that lasted nearly three hours.
Kokkinakis had taken umbrage at alleged comments Verdasco made in the sixth game of the decide, about his father disrupting him while serving.
Verdasco then got involved in a Twitter spat with Kyrgios, who had expressed his desire for the Spaniard to lose his third-round match.
“I was losing my focus because of this person talking between first and second serve and also in the third set when I doubled faulted and he started screaming and shouting supporting Thanasi so I told him to be respectful,” Verdasco explained his on court actions during his Sky Sports interview.
“I didn’t mean to do anything wrong and Thanasi started talking to me when I didn’t mean to disrupt him or try to lose his focus at all.
“I told him I’m sorry and I didn’t know who this person was and actually it was his dad, I never met his dad before and I told him that I’m really sorry.”
Next up for Verdasco is his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat American Steve Johnson 6-4 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the first time. “It`s never easy,” Carreno Busta, the 16th seed, said after his 78-minute match.
“And this is the first time that I`ve played on this court. But I feel really comfortable and I`m playing good. When you play with confidence it`s easier.”
Also reaching the fourth round were Kevin Anderson, a 4-6 6-2 6-3 winner over Karen Khachanov, and Denis Shapovalov, who upset 11th-seeded American Sam Querrey 6-4 3-6 7-5.