© Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeats Lorenzo Sonego to reach his first quarter-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Tsitsipas To Face Hurkacz In Maiden Miami QF

Greek leads 6-1 in ATP Head2Head against Pole 

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas took one step closer to a first ATP Masters 1000 title on Tuesday after battling past Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-6(2) to reach his first quarter-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Tsitsipas fired 20 winners and didn’t face a break point across one hour and 31 minutes against the 24th seeded Italian.

“I’m playing well, feeling well, and enjoying these moments on the court,” Tsitsipas said in an on-court interview. “I’m thrilled to be playing the way I’m playing. I’m having a great impact with my game so far this week, so it’s important for me to capitalise [on] that.

“Each single opponent has been a separate challenge, and I’ve been managing to find solutions against them. It’s important for me to have matches like this.”

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After making a fast start on Court 1 with two breaks of serve in the opening set, Tsitsipas settled in for a battle as Sonego raised his level in the second set. He pulled away in the tie-break to reach his seventh different ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

“I was expecting him to raise his level. When you’re one set to love, you feel like you have nothing to lose,” Tsitsipas said. “He definitely improved, so he was a much more difficult opponent in the second set than he was in the first.”

Tsitsipas has now reached the quarter-finals or better at all five events he has contested, including a runner-up finish last week at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco and a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open.

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Tsitsipas will face 24-year-old Hubert Hurkacz in the next round, after the 26th seed won a nail-biter against Milos Raonic that came down to the wire on Court 1. The Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com champion came back from a set down and edged through a third-set tie-break to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

Former World No. 3 Raonic outhit Hurkacz from the baseline with 38 winners to 31, but his unforced error count ultimately got away from him (50 to 34) across two hours and 20 minutes. It was also an impressive service day for Hurkacz, who hit more two aces (14) than the big-serving Raonic.

“I think I served very well. That helped me to stay in the games and then be competitive against Milos,” Hurkacz said. “Because if you give him a little bit, a couple of free points or he's getting into more rallies, he's a very dangerous player.”

Hurkacz advanced to his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, after his run at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The Polish player, who trains and lives part-time in Florida, will enjoy a sense of home-field advantage after starting the season by winning an ATP 250 title in nearby Delray Beach.

“Last year I spent here like over five months,” Hurkacz said. “So I got used to the weather and the conditions here, so I think that's kind of [an] advantage for me.

“But each site is different. Each [tournament’s] conditions, the balls are different, but I enjoy being here and playing here.”

Did You Know?
Seven of the eight players in the Miami Open presented by Itau quarter-finals are 25-and-under for the first time since 1996. Alexander Bublik (23), Sebastian Korda (20), Daniil Medvedev (25), Andrey Rublev (23) and Jannik Sinner (19) all won through on Tuesday to join Tsitsipas and Hurkacz in their maiden Miami quarter-finals.