Milos Raonic started out strong for the fourth round of the 2015 Miami Open Master but suddenly lost his steam in the second set giving his opponent Jeremy Chardy a glimmer of hope. As we know in tennis, the game can always turn on a dime, and that’s what wound up happening letting Raonic move forward into the fifth round.
Milos Raonic moved into the fourth round at the Miami Open presented by Itaú after fending off No. 31 seed Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(3) on Monday.
Raonic served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but the Frenchman earned the crucial break back. An overhead smash into the net by the Canadian gave Chardy the second set, forcing a decider. The Thornhill, Ont., player seemed to lose control of his powerful serve in the second set, giving the ATP Tour’s 38th-ranked player a chance to upset the world No. 6.
Chardy continued to outplay Raonic in the third, leading for most of the set.
But Raonic rediscovered his serve in time, finishing the match with 20 total aces.
Chardy lost when his return of a Raonic serve bounced weakly before hitting the net on the decisive match point.
The 24 year old, who fired 20 aces and hit 39 winners, clinched the victory in the third set tie-break after two hours and 10 minutes.
“[Chardy] started playing more freely and I sort of went the other way,” said Raonic. “He played good the second set. I thought he played better than I did in the third set.”
With the win, Raonic improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Chardy to 6-0.
In Miami for the fifth time, Raonic’s best showing was a quarter-final appearance last year (l. to Nadal in three sets).
Fourth seed Kei Nishikori tore into the fourth round of the Miami Open presented by Itaúon Monday with a 6-2, 6-2 dismissal of Viktor Troicki.
The Japanese star advanced in 63 minutes, converting five of his six break points against an ailing Troicki, who required treatment for an injury to his left side during the match. It was Nishikori’s 20th victory of the season and set him up with a fourth-round clash David Goffin.
“I was almost perfect on the court this morning,” said Nishikori. “It’s really exciting that I’m playing good here. Maybe he was hurting a little bit, but still I was giving him a lot of pressure with my return. He has a great serve. So I think it was a great game today.”
The 25-year-old Nishikori is looking to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week, having reached his first final at this level last year in Madrid (l. to Nadal). The right-hander captured his eighth ATP World Tour title earlier in the year in Memphis (d. Anderson) and finished runner-up in Acapulco (l. to Ferrer).
Earlier, No. 18 seed Goffin needed 76 minutes to beat Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-3 for a spot in the fourth round. It is the first Round of 16 for the 24-year-old Belgian in Miami, equalling his best showing at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament (also Cincinnati in 2013, l. to Djokovic).
A run of seven straight games steered Alexandr Dolgopolov to a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Thomaz Bellucci in the third round. Trailing 3-5 in the first set, the Ukrainian, nicknamed ‘The Dog’, reeled off the next seven games to lead by a set and a break, claiming victory in 88 minutes.
The 26-year-old Dolgopolov is bidding to reach the quarter-finals in Miami for the second year in a row and goes on to face either World No. 1 Novak Djokovic or Steve Darcis.