Karen Khachanov recorded 25 winners against nine unforced errors on Tuesday while dispatching second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (4), 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.
It marked the first time that the 14th-seeded Russian has defeated Tsitsipas in seven career meetings.
“They say third time is a charm, but for me it took seven times, so I’m super happy,” Khachanov said after prevailing in 93 minutes. “Not most importantly that I beat Stefanos, but I think with the way I’m playing. After the Australian Open, I had some issue with an injury. I came back in Dubai without having played many matches and I’m just happy to continue that level.
“I just want to continue that way, enjoy the process, and enjoy the journey.”
Khachanov controlled the match by winning 88.6 percent (39 of 44) of his first-serve points.
Meanwhile, Tsitsipas never won consecutive games during the watch. He had 11 aces among 29 winners and committed 14 unforced errors.
Khachanov will face either 25th-seeded Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina or Lorenzo Sonego of Italy in the quarterfinals. Those two men were playing later Tuesday.
Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz had a 24-9 edge winners as he cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over 16th-seeded Tommy Paul.
The Spaniard won 12 of 13 points at the net while winning in 96 minutes.
“I played a really great match and I hope to play the same level in the quarterfinal,” Alcaraz said. “I moved well and defended well and I counter-attacked and I think if I play at that same level I will have a lot of chances to get through.”
Alcaraz’s quarterfinal opponent will be ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz, who posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over seventh-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark.
Fritz served eight aces and saved 5 of 6 break points during the 85-minute match.
“I think my average level of tennis is a lot higher,” Fritz said. “I don’t need to always show up and play my best and if I don’t play my best, that level is higher than it used to be. I feel I can come through and win a lot of matches.”
No. 10 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy recorded eight aces without a double fault while producing a 6-2, 6-4 victory over sixth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev.
Sinner had a 29-21 edge in winners while prevailing in 72 minutes.
“I just tried to play with the right tactics,” Sinner said. “Playing bombs against bombs, it’s never easy. I think today I changed my game a little bit, so I’m very happy about that.”
Sinner next faces Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori, who outlasted 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 43 minutes.
–Field Level Media