The 4th seed and the three-time Miami champion Roger Federer is through to the fourth round after a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Filip Krajinovic in an hour and 30 minutes, defeating the Serb for the third time in as many encounters.
This was the 370th Masters 1000 win for the Swiss and the 52nd in Miami, playing better than in the second round against Radu Albot and setting the fourth-round clash with Daniil Medvedev or Reilly Opelka. Serving at 73%, Roger blasted 14 aces and lost 18 points in 11 service games, playing against two break points and giving serve away once.
That wasn't enough for Filip to make an impression and fight for a more favorable result, dropping 44% of the points behind the initial shot and having to play against ten break points to get broken on three occasions.
Dominating with serve and forehand, Federer fired 35 winners and 23 unforced errors, overpowering Krajinovic's 15-18 ratio and having the clear edge in the shortest points up to four strokes to seal the deal in straight sets and move into the last 16.
After some solid wins in the last couple of weeks, Filip was ready to give his best and he opened the duel with a break at love in game three following a loose forehand from Roger who stepped in the court to convert the fourth break point in the following game and level the score at 2-2.
Krajinovic fended off a couple of break points at 3-4 to prolong the set, creating a break chance at 505 that could have given him the crucial advantage. The Swiss saved it with a good serve and secured the set with a break in game 12 after another forehand winner for a 7-5 after almost an hour.
Carried by this momentum, Roger dropped just five points on serve in set number two, keeping the pressure on Filip and earning a break in game two thanks to a mediocre drop shot from the Serb. Both players served well in the rest of the set and Federer wrapped up the win with four good serves at 5-3, propelling himself into the fourth round and staying on the title course.
After the match, the Serb praised Roger's game and aggression that carried him towards the win. Also, Filip said he is happy with the way he performed at Indian Wells and Miami, hoping for another good run during the clay season.
"We both played well in the first set and he served on an amazing level throughout the match, playing some rock-solid tennis with no errors. I watched him against Albot and he sprayed a lot more mistakes in that one, playing focused today and attacking from start to finish.
I couldn't do much with my serve today, having to defend all the time after not having free points with the initial shot. Overall, I had a solid North American Tour, losing to Nadal and Federer, taking positive notes and moving on to the next challenges now.
My level has improved and I'm healthy, which is the most important thing, staying around the place in the top-100 and having nothing to defend in the upcoming months. I have to take some rest now after playing so many matches in the last month, probably skipping the Challenger I intended to play and to enter the clay swing where I have to qualify for the main draw at all the big tournaments, which is not the problem.
Playing at my best, I will soon return where I belong. I have a great passion for football, I like to watch and play just like all the other players."