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Rediff.com  » Sports » Miami Masters: Cilic, Del Potro, Venus advance, Dimitrov beaten

Miami Masters: Cilic, Del Potro, Venus advance, Dimitrov beaten

March 26, 2018 10:47 IST

IMAGES from the matches played at the Miami Masters on Sunday

Croatia's Marin Cilic hits a forehand against Canada's Vasek Pospisil (not pictured) on day six of the Miami Open at Tennis Center at Crandon Park on Sunday

IMAGE: Croatia's Marin Cilic hits a forehand against Canada's Vasek Pospisil (not pictured) on day six of the Miami Open at Tennis Center at Crandon Park on Sunday. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Croatian second seed Marin Cilic survived a tough examination by Canadian Vasek Pospisil to reach the fourth round of the Miami Open with a 7-5, 7-6(4) victory after nearly two hours on Sunday.

But the tournament, with world number one Roger Federer already ousted, lost another highly ranked player when Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, the third seed, was taken down 6-4, 6-4 by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

 

Indian Wells champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, the fifth seed, was more fortunate, winning his 13th consecutive match by defeating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-2.

The big-hitting Cilic fired six aces and saved all three break points he faced against Pospisil, but the 77th-ranked Canadian made it more difficult than the Croat probably expected.

Trailing 5-6 0-40 in the second set, the Canadian saved three consecutive match points and hit a running forehand pass to cap a 33-shot rally before Cilic claimed victory in the tiebreak.

"It was a relief at the end," Cilic told reporters.

"I had those three match points at 6-5 and there was that great rally at deuce. I was playing really well in the tie-break, returning really well and serving really good.

"I saved the best for last and I'm really pleased with the victory."

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro is congratulated by Japan's Kei Nishikori

IMAGE: Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro is congratulated by Japan's Kei Nishikori. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Del Potro fired 17 winners, claiming all five points when crashing the net and turned back Nishikori's lone break chance to take the match in 72 minutes.

"I think I'm playing good," del Potro told reporters. "I can play even better, but I need to get confidence playing on this court, trying to keep winning matches. But it is not easy. My body is starting to feel tight because of all my success."

The fifth seeded Argentine will face Filip Krajinovic in the fourth round on Tuesday after the Serbian defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3.

Meanwhile South Korean Chung Hyeon, the 19th seed, needed just 62 minutes to dispatch American qualifier Michael Mmoh 6-1, 6-1.

The highest-ranked player from Asia at number 23, Chung has not dropped a set so far in the tournament.

He will take on Joao Sousa in the last 16 after the Portuguese outlasted American Jared Donaldson 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Venus Williams plays a shot against the Netherlands' Kiki Bertens 

IMAGE: Venus Williams plays a shot against the Netherlands' Kiki Bertens. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Venus Williams fended off three match points before outlasting Dutch 29th seed Kiki Bertens 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in a three-hour, third-round marathon at the Miami Open on Sunday.

The tournament looked like losing yet another big name when Williams fell behind 4-1 in the third set on centre court at CrandonPark in south Florida.

However, she remained more poised on the big points and eventually won on serve when Bertens could only tap the ball back across the net, allowing Williams to put away the winner.

"I'm not sure," eighth seed Williams said in an on-court interview when asked how she had pulled off the victory in a match that had 15 breaks of serve.

"I had a lot of chances; she had a lot of chances. It didn't look good sometimes but that's why you keep playing to the last point and why I love this game."

Venus's survival to fight another day came as the women's draw remained wide open after the earlier ousting of her sister Serena, along with top seed Simona Halep and last week's Indian Wells winner Naomi Osaka.

Australia's Ashleigh Barty returns a shot against Croatia's Petra Martic 

IMAGE: Australia's Ashleigh Barty returns a shot against Croatia's Petra Martic. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Venus will meet British defending champion Johanna Konta in the next round, after the 11th seed crushed Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-2, 6-1.

Konta delivered 23 winners and had 17 unforced errors, while Mertens, a 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist, was slowed by 26 unforced errors and had only 11 winners.

"I have really great memories from last year," said Konta in a on-court interview.

"I want to thank everyone for coming out and making my return to the center court a special one."

Australian Ashleigh Barty, the 21st seed, took down Croatia's Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3, while Puerto Rico's Monica Puig beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 7-5.

Source:
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