ATP Miami: Shapovalov, Anderson and Medvedev advance. Dimitrov bows out


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ATP Miami: Shapovalov, Anderson and Medvedev advance. Dimitrov bows out

The 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov is through to the last 16 at Masters 1000 events for the eighth time, scoring the 23rd win at this level with a 6-3, 7-6 triumph over another youngster Andrey Rublev in an hour and 34 minutes.

Rublev won their previous match at the NextGen Masters in Milan in 2017 in five sets but stood no chance today, breaking Denis only once and having to work hard to stay in touch after offering 12 break points to his rival.

The Canadian converted only two and was even on the verge of losing the second set, trailing 5-3 before pulling the break back and wrapping up the win in the tie break. Shapovalov had 28 winners and 24 unforced errors, leaving Rublev on a 16-28 ratio and matching Novak Djokovic's Masters 1000 triumphs before turning 20!

Dropping just five points on serve in the first set, Shapovalov was always in front and he broke in game six with a deep return that forced an error from Rublev, moving 4-2 in front and securing the opener with three winners at 5-3 after 29 minutes.

Andrey fought off four break points in the fifth game of the second set to stay competitive and he broke a left-hander in the eighth game to jump into the lead, serving for the set in the following game but suffering a break that would cost him a lot.

Denis was the ruler on the court again, wasting three break points at 5-5 before clinching the tie break 7-5 after five mini-breaks and a forehand error from the Russian in the 12th point that propelled him into the fourth round.

The 6th seed Kevin Anderson has won another match in the comeback tournament after an elbow injury, beating Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 48 minutes, saving a couple of break points in set number two for the 86th Masters 1000 victory.

Firing 13 aces, Kevin played against one break point in the second set, mounting the pressure on Sousa who repelled three out of four break points to follow the pace of the 6th seed, landing 15 winners and 14 unforced errors but losing the ground in the quickest points to hit the exit door.

Anderson found the range on serve right from the start and he broke the Portuguese at love in game three to gain an early lead, keeping it until 5-4 when he held at love with an ace for a 6-4. The second set stayed within serve and they both had chances on the return in games nine and ten, with Kevin saving a set point with a service winner at 4-5, entering the tie break where Sousa had another chance to close the set at 6-5.

He lost the next two points on serve, allowing the rival to cross the finish line with a forehand winner and move into the fourth round. After just one ATP win from 12 matches in 2018, Jordan Thompson has already notched 11 this year, defeating Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-5 in an hour and 47 minutes for the best Masters 1000 result in a career, having no wins at this level of competition before Indian Wells!

Sidelined by a shoulder injury, this was the first tournament for the Bulgarian since the Australian Open and he played well against Feliciano Lopez, unable to repeat the same versus the Aussie after losing serve five times.

Jordan tamed his shots more efficiently, dominating in the mid-range rallies to create the crucial gap and playing with more focus in the closing stages of both sets to advance into the last 16. Dimitrov had his opportunities, wasting two break points at 5-5 in the opener before losing serve and serving for the second set at 5-4, only to lose the last three games and bow out, switching his focus to clay.

In the most exciting encounter of the day, Daniil Medvedev took down Reilly Opelka 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 in swift two hours and 22 minutes for already the 17th win of the season. As a result suggests, nothing could separate the rivals throughout the match, with both facing two break points to stay neck and neck all the time, sending the action down to the wire and into a deciding tie break.

Opelka had 49 winners but also 41 unforced errors while Daniil controlled the pace of his groundstrokes with better precision, spraying just 14 unforced errors and emerging as a deserved winner after a stellar performance in the pivotal moments.

It was a strong pace on both sides from the very first shot, reaching the opening set tie break after no deuces or break points, with Medvedev who grabbed it 7-5 following a backhand error from the American. Opelka fended off a couple of break points earlier in the second set to stay in contention, playing the best return game at 4-4 when he earned two chances, squandering them all to enter another tie break that he clinched 7-5 after a forehand mistake from Medvedev, sending a thrilling clash into the final set.

There, they both served well and the winner had to be picked in the tie break where there was no drama. Daniil claimed all seven points to seal the deal in style, firing a forehand winner at 6-0 to move over the top and set Roger Federer clash on Tuesday.