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Federer eases past Medvedev into Miami quarters

March 28, 2019 09:00 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer hits a forehand against Daniil Medvedev of Russia (not pictured) in the fourth round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

A clinical Roger Federer took a confident step towards a fourth Miami Open title on Wednesday, easing past 13th-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-2 to book a spot in the quarter-finals.

 

Federer, a winner of 100 career titles, can look back on dozens of brilliant performances and the Swiss maestro could add his ruthless fourth-round win over the red hot Russian to that list.

With 17 match wins, no player has had more success this year than the lanky Russian but Medvedev had no answers for a rampaging Federer, who needed just 61 minutes to reach the last eight, where he will take on towering sixth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson.

"There were really long rallies, tactical points. The big points went my way and that was the difference," said Federer.

"I'm serving great this week and hope I can keep it up in the next round."

The match got off to a routine start until Federer took control.

With Medvedev 4-3 up in the first, the 20-times grand slam champion swept the next five games to take the opener and a 2-0 lead in the second.

Medvedev halted the bleeding with a hold at 2-1 but there was no stopping the fourth-seeded Federer who claimed a second break to go up 5-2 and then had an easy hold to seal a business-like victory.

The Russian could not convert any of his three breakpoints, while Federer took all three of his.

Federer's fourth-round contest had been scheduled for Tuesday but was moved due to rain, giving the 37-year-old Swiss little time to recover before facing the hard-hitting Anderson, who was a 7-5 winner over Australian Jordan Thompson.

Defending champion John Isner came out on the winning side of two tie-breakers in his afternoon battle with Roberto Bautista Agut to advance 7-6(1), 7-6(5) to the semi-finals of the tournament, where he has yet to drop a set.

The seventh-seeded American thumped 25 aces to see off the Spaniard and will next face either 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime or defensive baseliner Borna Coric, who play their quarter-final in the night session on Wednesday.

Halep sees off Wang to move into semis

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Simona Halep celebrates after her match against Qiang Wang of China (not pictured) in a women's singles quarter-final of the Miami Open. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Simona Halep overcame a second-set lapse to secure a 6-4 7-5 Miami Open quarter-final victory over China's Wang Qiang on Wednesday that put the Romanian one win away from reclaiming the world's top ranking.

Second seed Halep stormed back from 5-1 down in the second set and saved three set points before wrapping up the win over 18th-seeded Wang in 89 minutes.

Halep started strongly and broke Wang three times to race into a 4-1 lead before closing out the first set when she cut off the angle on a short forehand and blasted a winner into the open court.

But Wang came out firing in the second set, breaking Halep three times and holding to love in back-to-back service games to build a 5-1 lead.

Wang nearly forced a decisive third set as she threatened to break Halep again when she quickly jumped out to 0-40 in the 10th game but the Romanian displayed confident net play to get out of the jam.

Halep matched her best result in Miami, which came in 2015 when she lost to Serena Williams in the semis.

"Playing again in the semi-finals is going to be a big challenge. And maybe I can do my best result here and play in the final," Halep said in an on-court interview. "It's going to be a big match in the next round."

Up next for Halep will be the winner of the all-Czech quarter-final between fifth seed Karolina Pliskova and Marketa Vondrousova which kicks off the evening session at 7:00 p.m. ET (2300 GMT).

Halep, the highest seed left in the draw following Naomi Osaka's third-round exit, said that while she is aware of her chance to reclaim top spot in the rankings that is not on her mind.

"If I play well, if I play my best tennis, I have a better chance to become number one again," said Halep. "But it's not in my mind. I just want to find my rhythm, to find my level and just play as good as possible."

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