Federer Returns To Full Throttle In Miami

Swiss finishes with 35 winners

Roger Federer's third-round match on Monday was much more his style. The Swiss was thoroughly tested during his Miami Open presented by Itau opener on Saturday, needing three sets to beat Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com champion Radu Albot of Moldova.

But Federer, after an even start against Filip Krajinovic, raced past the Serbian 7-5, 6-3 to reach the fourth round in South Florida. Federer, second all-time in Miami wins, improved to 52-14 at the season's second Masters 1000 event.

I thought I served very well, because Filip can return very well, especially on second serve. I know I could feel the pressure maybe, to some extent, if I don't make the first serves. But I still kept going after them, and I was able to hit my spots and keep the pressure on and shorten points as the match went on," Federer said.

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The 27-year-old Krajinovic stayed with the three-time Miami titlist (2005-06, 2017) in the opener, matching Federer from the baseline. The Serbian made the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Nadal) and was looking to match that result in Miami.

But the 37-year-old Federer came through in the 12th game to take the opener, blasting a crosscourt forehand winner. He settled in from there, racing to a 4-1 lead behind an early break in the second and finishing with 35 winners to 23 unforced errors.

"It was an... intense match in the first 10 games. Then I was able to pull away. I had a good 20-minute stretch where I was really able to stretch the lead, and that was key today," Federer said.

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He will next meet Russian Daniil Medvedev, who beat American Reilly Opelka 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-6(0). Opelka was two points from the match on Medvedev's serve at 5-6, 15/30 in the third set. But the Russian, who hit 19 aces to Opelka's 22, sprinted away with it in the tie-break.

Their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, at the Citi Open in 2017, also featured three tie-break sets. Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Medvedev 2-0. Since August 2018, Medvedev has won three ATP Tour titles (Winston-Salem, Tokyo, Sofia).

"I'm looking forward to the game," Federer said. "I'm very impressed about his progress. I must say the last year has been unbelievable for him... Very impressive."

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