Tsitsipas Claws Past Garin

Greek next plays Khachanov

Stefanos Tsitsipas is up and running at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Competing for the first time this fortnight, the Greek overcame a tough opening test against Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin, prevailing 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Miami for the fourth consecutive year.

The Greek was playing for just the third time in the past month after he withdrew from Acapulco due to a shoulder injury and lost in the opening round in Indian Wells. He then received a first-round bye and a second-round walkover from Richard Gasquet in Miami.

"I was waiting for a very long time to get out and play," Tsitsipas said. "It has almost felt like a vacation this past week, staying in Miami. I glad I got started. It was a difficult match against an opponent who has played good tennis against good opponents in the past.

"I am happy with the way things turned around and my confidence towards the end. I had an eye-on-the-prize attitude and it was effective with how I played in the last game when he was serving."

Tsitsipas' lack of match sharpness showed at times inside Hard Rock Stadium, with the second seed committing 21 unforced errors as an inform Garin chased his sixth win in seven matches. However, the World No. 3 dug deep and found a way, looking the fresher of the pair at the end of the third set to earn his 14th win of the season after two hours and four minutes.

Tsitsipas, who fired 30 winners and earned the crucial break at 4-4 in the deciding set, will next meet Karen Khachanov. The Greek hopes his fitness continues to improve throughout the hard-court event.

"I am just going to enjoy this victory," Tsitsipas said when asked about his shoulder. "It has been a difficult road to healing in the past few weeks, but I am happy that things are getting better."

Tsitsipas now leads Garin 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series. The World No. 3, who reached the quarter-finals in Miami in 2021, is chasing his third ATP Masters 1000 title this week.

Earlier, the 14th seed Khachanov dispatched Czech Jiri Lehecka 6-2, 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Miami for the first time.

Khachanov struck 21 winners during his first meeting against Lehecka and is up one spot to No. 15 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. The 26-year-old’s best result this season came at the Australian Open, where he lost to Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.

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