Berdych beats Gasquet to reach Miami quarter-finals
Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych moved into the quarter-final path of world number one Novak Djokovic at the ATP and WTA Miami Open on Tuesday 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.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” Berdych said. “It was a tough match. Richard played really well. I came through in the end and took my chances and won.”
Berdych has won only two of 24 meetings with Djokovic, having lost the past nine matches since a 2013 Rome quarter-final victory.
Two-time defending champion Djokovic, a five-time Miami winner overall, won his 11th Grand Slam title two months ago at the Australian Open.
The 28-year-old Serbian must beat Austrian 14th seed Dominic Thiem in a later match to book a last-eight date against Berdych.
Djokovic, also a champion at Indian Wells and Doha this year, has won his past 12 Miami matches and 26 of his past 27.
Thiem, who captured titles last month at Acapulco and Buenos Aires, and Djokovic have each won an ATP-best 24 matches this year.
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 plays Spanish 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a night match.
Only two of the top 12 women’s seeds made the quarter-finals, with Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep facing Swiss 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky in a later quarter-final.
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