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• DAY 7 PREVIEW: Tuesday at the Miami Open, presented by Itau, features all eight fourth-round matches, including four of the top five seeds: No. 1 Stan Wawrinka, No. 2 Kei Nishikori, No. 4 Roger Federer, and No. 5 Rafael Nadal. The field also features three Americans (No. 13 Jack Sock, Donald Young, and qualifier Jared Donaldson), the most since 2004, when there were four (Roddick-Won, Spadea-SF, Agassi-4R, Martin-4R). Six players are looking to reach their first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final: No. 16 Alexander Zverev, Federico Delbonis, Nicolas Mahut, Adrian Mannarino, along with Donaldson and Young. Zverev, at 19, is the youngest player in the field, while Federer, at 35, is the oldest. There are 11 countries represented in the 4R, led by the U.S. (3), France (2), Spain (2) and Switzerland (2). One Each: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Opening the day’s action on Stadium, Nishikori faces Delbonis, who upset No. 15 Carreno Busta in the second round. Delbonis is one of five unseeded players (compared to only three seeds) remaining in the bottom half of the draw, while in the top half, only one unseeded competitor has made it this far. Nishikori, a finalist in Miami last year (l. to Djokovic), won the only previous meeting between the two, a 2011 qualifying-round encounter in Rome.
Next up on the men’s Stadium slate, Nadal plays Mahut for the first time since 2011. Nadal played his 1,000th career match on Sunday, overcoming a 0-6 score in the first set to defeat Kohlschreiber in three. Mahut defeated Pella in straight sets on Sunday, and upset No. 23 Johnson in the second round. The career head-to-head is knotted at one apiece; Nadal won the last encounter via retirement at the 2011 US Open.
Rounding out the Stadium court day session, Federer goes toe-to-toe with No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut. The Swiss star has never lost a set against the Spainard, claiming all 12 sets in their previous five encounters. Like this one, four of their past matches have taken place in the round of 16. Federer service games will be a clash of titans: Fed has been broken only once in two matches here, while Bautista Agut leads the field in rate of return games won, having broken his opponents in 11 of 23 tries.
The evening session concludes with both of last year’s losing semi-finalists, No. 12 Nick Kyrgios and No. 8 David Goffin. Their only previous match was last year’s Tokyo final, in which Kyrgios triumphed in three sets. Both men needed three sets yesterday as well, with Kyrgios edging Karlovic in a deciding-set tiebreak, and Goffin coming back to overcome Schwartzman.
The first two matches on Grandstand feature the American hopes, beginning with an unseeded clash between Young and Fabio Fognini, who has lost to the American in both previous meetings. In his third-round defeat of Paire, Young improved to a tour-best 10-1 in tiebreaks this season, and if he reaches the quarterfinal, it will be the first time since 2008 that two Americans reached the final eight (Roddick, Blake). After that is the all-American fourth-rounder between Sock and Donaldson, the first encounter between the two. Sock is tied with four other players (including Goffin) with 17 wins on the season, while Donaldson is trying to become the first qualifier since Canas (2007, l. to Djokovic) to reach the quarterfinals.
The second half of the Grandstand slate begins with No. 10 Tomas Berdych—making his fifth consecutive appearance in the Miami fourth round, and 9th in 10 years—against Mannarino, in his second round-of-16 showing (2015, l. to Thiem). Berdych has won all three matches between the two, and is one of only four players remaing (w/ Federer, Wawrinka, Sock) who have yet to drop a set. Last up is top seed Wawrinka against Zverev, who needed to save match point and fight through three tiebreaks to oust Isner last night. Wawrinka is celebrating his 32nd birthday, an anniversary he hopes to mark by reaching his first-ever Miami quarter-final. He and Zverev have played once before, in last year’s St. Petersburg final, where Zverev came out on top to win his first-ever ATP World Tour title.