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Alcaraz into Miami Open quarters with Sunshine Double still in sight

The Spaniard needed less than 90 minutes to dispatch the 23rd seed from Italy, pounding forehands and winning 18 of 22 points when he charged to the net.
Last Updated 27 March 2024, 03:22 IST

Indian Wells champion Carlos Alcaraz kept his hopes for a Sunshine Double alive with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Miami Open quarter-finals for the third straight year on Tuesday.

The Spaniard needed less than 90 minutes to dispatch the 23rd seed from Italy, pounding forehands and winning 18 of 22 points when he charged to the net.

Alcaraz broke serve to start the match and again to grab the drama-free first set against his overmatched opponent.

Musetti would finally secure his first break of the match to get back on serve trailing 4-3 in the second set when a suddenly error-prone Alcaraz misfired with a backhand.

The momentum would be short-lived, however, with the tournament's 2022 champion breaking back with ease in the next game and ending the affair when Musetti's shot landed in the net on match point.

Musetti's best moment came in the second set when he hit a front facing tweener lob over Alcaraz's head and ended the point with a volley to gasps from the fans at Hard Rock Stadium.

"Without a doubt, this is the best I've been feeling," Alcaraz, who had struggled with an ankle injury earlier in the season, said after winning his ninth consecutive match.

"I'm feeling great on the court, I'm moving great with no injuries because I don't think about the ankle anymore on the court."

Alcaraz will next face 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov after the Bulgarian's career renaissance continued with a gritty 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) win over Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

Daniil Medvedev took another step towards retaining a title for the first time in his career as the Russian third seed beat Germany's Dominik Koepfer 7-6(5) 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals.

Medvedev overcame a shaky start and converted four break points while dropping serve just once to secure a spot in the last eight in Miami where he has yet to drop a set.

Koepfer was the early aggressor, using a pair of holds at love to build a 4-3 lead in the first set, but Medvedev forced a tiebreak in which he lost the opening four points before finding his way.

With a frustrated Koepfer suddenly losing control of his forehand, Medvedev enjoyed much smoother passage through the second set where he broke twice to build a commanding 4-0 lead before closing out the match with a break to love.

"Sometimes it happens when you lose the first set the way he lost ... it brings your (opponent's) energy down and I knew that I had to use it (to my advantage) in the beginning of the second set that's where it was the most important," Medvedev said after collecting his 350th career win.

The Russian will face Chile's Nicolas Jarry, the 22nd seed, in the last eight, after he beat seventh seed Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6(3) 6-3.

In other early action, unseeded Czech Tomas Machac beat Italy's Matteo Arnaldi 6-3 6-3 to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Machac faces a tough task against second seed Jannik Sinner, who overcame a first set deficit before ultimately coasting to a 6-4 6-3 victory to reach the quarters.

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(Published 27 March 2024, 03:22 IST)

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