By Tucker Verdi
If your name is Alexander Zverev or Kevin Anderson or Jack Sock or Tomas Berdych or really any name that is still alive in the top half of the men’s singles draw, yesterday was a good day.
Players don't likely revel in the defeat of their sport’s biggest name, but it does provide them with a unique opportunity of making it out of a draw without playing perhaps the greatest the play the game in Roger Federer.
And on the other side of the draw, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dmitrov, and Juan Martin del Potro certainly can breathe a little easier as a final with Fed is no longer in the cards.
The top half was in action Saturday, looking to avoid the upsets that have defined the tournament thus far and punch their tickets to the third round.
Zverev was pushed by Russian Daniil Medvedev, ultimately prevailing in a third set tiebreak 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(5). Anderson, the 2016 US Open runner-up, was able to overcome Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3 while Tomas Berdych took down Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-4.
Four Americans live to play another day in the top half, with No. 8 seed Jack Sock defeating qualifier Yuki Bhambri of India 6-3, 7-6(3) and No. 11 seed Sam Querrey wearing down Radu Albot 7-6(4), 6-1.
Steve Johnson was able to pull off the upset against No. 18 seed Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-3 to mark his deepest run in Miami.
Frances Tiafoe, however, won the best matchup of the day in a duel with Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund. The two-and-a-half hour match was an exceptional display of tennis. In the end, the 20-year-old, who picked up his first career title in Delray Beach earlier this year, would seal the deal in a third set tiebreak to win 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-6(5).
For full match results, visit miamiopen.com/2018-results.