By Tucker Verdi
Eight men are left standing after a packed day of matches in the round of 16 at the 2018 Miami Open.
Isner – Chung, del Potro – Raonic, Carreno Busta – Anderson, and Zverev – Coric. These matchups will winnow down those eight to four semifinalists.
John Isner battled second-seeded Marin Cilic, overcoming the Croatian US Open champion in two sets 7-6(0), 6-3. Isner didn’t face a single break point, serving up 12 aces en route to the quarters.
Isner will face Hyeon Chung, the No. 19 seed, who ended Joao Sousa’s run by a score of 6-4, 6-3 in just over an hour. Isner will reclaim the American No. 1 ranking on Monday regardless of the result of his match with Chung, but with a win would return to the ATP top 10.
Juan Martin del Potro once again had the support of the crowd in his 6-4, 6-2 win over Filip Krajinovic. The 2009 US Open champion is trying to become the 11th player to complete the Sunshine Double by winning Indian Wells and the Miami Open in the same year.
Del Potro will have to get through Milos Raonic to achieve that feat. Raonic easily handled Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 as he continues to regain the form that brought him to the Wimbledon final in 2016.
In the top half, the absence of Roger Federer has left a vacuum that each quarterfinalist is hoping to fill.
16th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta cruised to a straights win over countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-3. Carreno Busta will play sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson in a rematch of their 2017 US Open semifinal that Anderson won.
Anderson advanced to the quarterfinals by way of a 7-6(3), 6-3 win over American Frances Tiafoe, who was having the most successful run of his career at a Masters event. Tiafoe actually finished his third round match with Tomas Berdych earlier in the day, as it was delayed by rain Monday night.
No. 29 seed Borna Coric was able to get by Denis Shapovalov in an evenly-matched affair that saw the two young stars engage in some ferocious rallies. Shapovalov was on serve with a chance to extend the match at 5-all in the third, but three double-faults got him into a 15-40 hole that he couldn’t dig himself out of. Coric would get the break, sealing the 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4 win.
Coric will take on the highest remaining seed in the draw: No. 4 Alexander Zverev. The 20-year-old German, who needed two comebacks to get through the second and third rounds, overcame 17th-seeded Nick Kyrgios’ 11 aces for a 6-4, 6-4 fourth round victory under the lights at Crandon Park.
For full results, visit miamiopen.com/2018-results.