ATP Miami: Felix Auger-Aliassime writes history again. Isner edges Edmund


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ATP Miami: Felix Auger-Aliassime writes history again. Isner edges Edmund

Packed Tuesday's schedule at Hard Rock Stadium brings eight men's singles fourth-round encounters, with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the leading stars of the day. Before the Serb and the Swiss, the other matches took place in day session and the first quarter-finalists are the defending champion John Isner and the Canadian qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime.

An 18-year-old has been one of the biggest prospects in the world of tennis in the last couple of years and has already achieved numerous milestones for himself and 2000 generation. Passing two qualifying rounds, Felix scored four main draw wins to book the place in the quarter-final as the first player born in 2000, also the first 18-year-old since Rafael Nadal in 2005!

Super talented prodigy is the youngest Miami quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001 and the sixth youngest overall at Masters 1000 series after Denis Shapovalov, Michael Chang, Fabrice Santoro, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras.

Today, Felix took down the 17th seed Nikoloz Basialshvili 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 36 minutes, fending off six out of eight break points and breaking the more experienced rival thrice to cross the finish line first and book the place in the quarters.

The youngster had 22 winners and 24 unforced errors, leaving Nikoloz on an 18-27 ratio and prevailing with a better performance in the shortest points up to four strokes. The Canadian needed some time to settle into the desired rhythm, repelling three break points in the opening two service games to avoid an early setback, erasing another one at 4-4 with a forehand winner to stay in the opener.

Nikoloz finally found the way to grab a break in the 11th game although it wasn't to be for him, losing serve in the worst possible moment to set up a tie break that Felix won 7-4 with three mini-breaks after forcing an error from the Georgian.

Carried by this momentum, Felix broke at the start of the second set after a terrible backhand error from Basilashvili who pulled the break back in game six when Auger-Aliassime netted a forehand, leveling the score at 3-3 and extending his chances.

Nonetheless, the youngster stayed focused to steal another break in the following game, delivering two good holds and moving over the finish line when Nikoloz sprayed a forehand error in game ten to propel Felix into the last eight.

The defending champion John Isner had to work hard to beat Kyle Edmund 7-6, 7-6 in an hour and 40 minutes and stay on the title course, defeating the Briton for the second time in three matches. Serving at 79%, John fired 17 aces and did more damage with the first serve, struggling on the second but facing only one break point, same as Kyle who stayed in touch with the better-ranked rival all the time before losing ground in both tie breaks.

They both had more winners than unforced errors and John secured a win with the more efficient performance in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes. After five good holds on both sides, Kyle hit a double fault to lose serve at love and push John 4-2 up, with the American serving for the opener at 5-3.

Out of sudden, the Briton pulled the break back at love to extend the set, sending it into a tie break where he opened a 5-2 advantage. Isner won the next couple of points on serve and stayed in the set after a double fault from Kyle who netted a routine forehand in the 11th point to lose the advantage completely.

An ace secured the first set for the American after 51 minutes, winning five points in a row that gave him a massive momentum before the rest of the encounter. There, nothing could separate them in the regular games and the second tie break became inevitable, with servers taking the first seven points.

Isner grabbed a mini-break in the eighth point with a deep return, clinching the next point as well after a controversial situation when Edmund stopped the action after some shouting from the crowd, blasting another ace to book the place in the quarters where he could face the world no. 1 Novak Djokovic.