KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami/AP) — One of tennis’ biggest starts is shining brightly in South Florida.
Roger Federer hasn’t won the Miami Open in 11 years. The way he’s playing now, that may soon change.
Federer advanced to the fourth round at the Miami Open, the No. 4 seed beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4 on Monday. Federer, who was facing the 29th-seeded del Potro for the first time since 2013, never lost serve and improved to 15-1 this year.
He broke del Potro twice, once in each set, and that was all he needed.
“A good match overall,” said Federer, the 2005 and 2006 champion on Key Biscayne. “I enjoyed it.”
The first break put him up 5-3 in the first set, and Federer then fought off four break points in the ensuing game before closing out the set.
Another break for a 3-2 lead in the second set, not long after del Potro got his oft-problematic left wrist taped on a changeover, put Federer in full control. Serving at 4-3, Federer faced a break point — Argentine fans serenaded del Potro beforehand with “Ole! Ole! Ole!” — but escaped when a serve return sailed long.
It had the feel of a final, not a third-rounder on a Monday afternoon.
The stadium court, largely empty for the first two matches of the day, was filled — with huge roars greeting both players as they entered for warmups, many fans wearing hats or shirts with Federer’s “RF” logo, many others either donning Argentine soccer jerseys or carrying that nation’s flag in support of del Potro.
They weren’t disappointed. They got a show, albeit a short one.
The last seven Federer-del Potro matches coming into this meeting all went the distance, with some classics — the 4 1/2-hour, three-setter at the 2012 Olympics at Wimbledon where Federer prevailed 19-17 in the third, Federer rallying from two sets down in the French Open quarterfinals that year, and del Potro winning the 2009 U.S. Open in five sets for his lone Grand Slam triumph.
Federer next faces 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, who needed three sets to top Sam Querrey of the U.S. Tenth-seeded Tomas Berdych was another third-round winner, beating Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4.
Top-seeded Angelique Kerber made the women’s quarterfinals after beating Risa Ozaki 6-2, 6-2. Caroline Wozniacki also reached the quarters when Garbine Muguruza retired after the first set after feeling dizziness that she said was brought on by the heat.
Wozniacki, the sixth seed, took that set over the 12th-seeded Muguruza 7-6 (1).
Muguruza was tended to by doctors courtside following that tiebreaker, which wrapped up a 70-minute set, and decided she could not continue on a 77-degree, humid afternoon in South Florida. She said she began feeling a headache and stomach pain midway through the set, then experienced some dizziness.
“Kind of went more and more during the match,” Muguruza said.
Wozniacki has not dropped a set during the tournament and will next face Lucie Safarova, who upset fourth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 7-6, 6-1. Karolina Pliskova also won, topping Czech Fed Cup teammate — and occasional doubles partner — Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-4.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)