Miami: Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych moved into the quarter-finals at the Miami Open yesterday by defeating French 10th seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, fired 12 aces in squaring his career record against the Frenchman at 7-7.
Berdych has won only two of 24 meetings with Djokovic, having lost the past nine matches since a 2013 Rome quarter-final victory.
Only four of the top 10 men’s seeds reached Miami’s last 16, matching an event record low, with three of them in the same quarter of the draw.
The fourth is Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who was scheduled to play Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a night match.
Berdych netted a forehand to surrender a break in the fifth game but Gasquet double faulted away a break to level the first set at 4-4 and botched a backhand in the 10th game to concede a break and the set.
In the second set, Gasquet again broke for an early lead at 2-1 but this time held to the end and broke Berdych again to finish the set with a backhand crosscourt winner.
Both men held serve in the third set until Berdych reached triple break point in the 11th game. The 30-year-old Czech swatted a backhand long and Gasquet fired his sixth ace but Berdych followed with a forehand winner to grab a 6-5 lead and held in the final game to advance after two hours and 27 minutes.
Belgian 15th seed David Goffin reached the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Argentina’s 112th-ranked Horacio Zeballos, a qualifying lucky loser who only made the field after Roger Federer withdrew due to illness.
Goffin, the first Belgian man in Miami’s last eight, will next face French 18th seed Gilles Simon, who routed 88th-ranked compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-1 in 57 minutes.
Goffin reached the semi-finals earlier this month at Indian Wells, where he lost to Canada’s Milos Raonic.
On Monday, Andy Murray, accustomed to going deep into the Miami Open, was derailed in the third round, falling 6-7(1) 6-4 6-3 to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
The Scotsman might have sensed trouble was in the air at Crandon Park.
“To be honest, I just played better in the big moments today,” Dimitrov told reporters. “I had quite a few opportunities and I used them.”
After winning a tight opening set by breezing through a 7-1 tie-break, Murray quickly found himself down a break 2-0 in the second and that was all the 26th-seeded Dimitrov needed to level the match.
Murray, a two-times Miami champion who had reached the final three times in the last four years, grabbed the initiative in the third set, breaking his Russian opponent to nose ahead 3-1 but a determined Dimitrov broke right back to get the decisive set back on level terms.
Service breaks continued with Dimitrov going on top again 4-3 and the Bulgarian consolidated his advantage by holding serve for a 5-3 lead.
With Murray serving to stay in the match Dimitrov broke yet again, closing out the rollercoaster contest on his first match point in two hours 25 minutes.