Following a rash of upsets throughout the tournament, top-seeded Novak Djokovic headed into Tuesday at the 2016 Miami Open with a major target on his back.
Djokovic was one of a few seeded players taking the court in Key Biscayne, Florida, as the event begins reaching the latter stages. Fourth-round play concluded in the men's side, while the quarterfinals began in the women's draw.
Here's a brief recap for how each draw unfolded Tuesday.
|Men's Singles Results—Tuesday, March 29|
|Novak Djokovic  def. Dominic Thiem ||6-3, 6-4|
|Tomas Berdych  def. Richard Gasquet ||6-4, 3-6, 7-5|
|Milos Raonic  def. Damir Dzumhur||6-0, 6-3|
|David Goffin  def. Horacio Zeballos||7-5, 6-3|
|Gilles Simon  def. Lucas Pouille||6-0, 6-1|
|Nick Kyrgios  def. Andrey Kuznetsov||7-6(3), 6-3|
|Gael Monfils  def. Grigor Dimitrov||7-6(5), 6-3, 6-3|
The men's draw provided few surprises Tuesday, as the top seeds have all advanced to the quarterfinals.
Djokovic may have won in straight sets, but that doesn't properly convey how hard Dominic Thiem pushed him. The top player in the world surrendered 15 break-point opportunities, saving all but one. Thiem actually won more return points (43) than he did on serve (34).
According to TennisTV, the 22-year-old Austrian also hit more winners (15) than his opponent (six), and Djokovic committed nine double-faults.
However, Thiem was unable to put Djokovic away when he had the chance, a problem he acknowledged after the match, per the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds: "With one of 15 break points, you cannot beat anyone, probably. For sure, not Djokovic."
On Wednesday, Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych, who had his hands full with Richard Gasquet, in the quarterfinals. The turning point in the match came in the 11th game of the third set, when Berdych earned a service break. That allowed him to serve for the match, and he quickly put the Frenchman away for the victory.
Of course, Berdych's matchup in the quarters puts a damper on his win Tuesday. Djokovic owns a 22-2 advantage in the pair's 24 meetings. Berdych's last win came in Rome in 2013.
Elsewhere in Key Biscayne, Nick Kyrgios still hasn't dropped a set in the tournament following a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Andrey Kuznetsov. Tennis broadcaster Craig Gabriel noted that this was also a big win for Kyrgios from a historical perspective:
Craig Gabriel @crosscourt1
@NickKyrgios becomes 1st Aussie to reach QF @MiamiOpen since Hewitt in 2002 and youngest QF since Delpo in 2009. He def Kuznetson 76 633/29/2016, 7:41:19 PM
Kyrgios faces off with Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals, which should be one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament. Raonic is seemingly turning a corner in his career, while Kyrgios can challenge the best in the world when he's on top of his game. Once the Miami Open draw was made, tennis fans hoped this matchup would come to fruition.
|Women's Singles Results—Tuesday, March 29|
|Timea Bacsinszky  def. Simona Halep ||4-6, 6-3, 6-2|
|Svetlana Kuznetzova  def. Ekaterina Makanrova ||6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3|
One day after Serena Williams exited the Miami Open, another top seed in the women's draw fell after No. 5 Simona Halep lost in straight sets to No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky. It's Bacsinszky's third consecutive win over a ranked opponent and her second in a row against somebody in the top five after she knocked out third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round.
"I came back from a long road," she said in her on-court interview with Andrew Krasny (via the WTA's official website). "The first set was really tough. She's an awesome player and a great fighter. For the last year, she has also been an inspiration for me because I believe in hard work and she's one of the players who work really hard, so to be able to play that well against her and to catch the win is really amazing."
According to WTA Insider, Halep felt her performance drop once the second set began:
WTA Insider @WTA_insider
Halep: fatigue set in at the start of the 2nd. Physicality went 1st, then mental. Credited TB for mixing it up. Disappointed. Next: Fed Cup.3/29/2016, 9:48:06 PM
The 24-year-old looked to be physically and mentally spent after falling 1-5 behind in the third set, via Live Tennis:
Live Tennis @livetennis
This pretty much sums it up for Halep, who can't close out a point for the life of her. Down 1-5 in the 3rd set. https://t.co/Dm8Jluygxf3/29/2016, 8:26:15 PM
2016 has been a year to forget for Halep so far. Following her run to the Apia International Sydney semifinals, she lost her next three WTA matches and failed to advance past the quarters at either the BNP Paribas Open or the Miami Open.
She needs to start putting some positive results together before she heads to Paris for the French Open, in which she has exited in the second round or earlier in five of the last six years.
|2016 Miami Open Schedule—Wednesday, March 30|
|Time (ET) Note||Matchup||Draw|
|10:45 a.m.||Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka  vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova ||Women's Doubles|
|Not Before 1 p.m.||Johanna Konta  vs. Victoria Azarenka ||Women's Singles|
|Not Before 3 p.m.||David Goffin  vs. Gilles Simon ||Men's Singles|
|----||Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan  vs. Omar Jasika/John-Patrick Smith||Men's Doubles|
|Not Before 7 p.m.||Madison Keys  vs. Angelique Kerber ||Women's Singles|
|Not Before 9 p.m.||Novak Djokovic  vs. Tomas Berdych ||Men's Singles|
|11 a.m.||Timea Babos/Yaroslava Shvedova  vs. Kateryna Bondarenko/Olga Savchuk||Women's Doubles|
|Not Before 1 p.m.||Jeremy Chardy/Fabrice Martin vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut ||Men's Doubles|
|----||John Isner/Nicholas Monroe vs. Treat Huey/Max Mirnyi||Men's Doubles|
|Not Before 6 p.m.||Philipp Petzschner/Alexander Peya vs. Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram||Men's Doubles|
|4 p.m.||Yi-Fan Xu/Saisai Zheng  vs. Ekaterina Makarova/Barbora Strycova||Women's Doubles|
A head-to-head record isn't a definitive indicator for future matches between two players. Williams was 8-2 against Svetlana Kuznetsova before Monday night and hadn't lost to the Russian since 2009. Then, Kuznetsova won in three sets.
With that said, Djokovic advancing to the semifinals is one of the safest bets in tennis. His dominance over Berdych extends to all surfaces, and he's surrendered just two sets to the Czech in his last nine wins, dating back to Wimbledon 2013.
Part of Djokovic's struggles were a result of the humid weather Tuesday afternoon in Key Biscayne. With Wednesday's match starting no earlier than 9 p.m. ET, the conditions shouldn't be as much of a factor. As long as he can avoid the sluggishness that plagued him against Thiem, he should coast past Berdych.
On the women's side, many eyes will be on Madison Keys to see if she can knock out Angelique Kerber. Keys looked good in the fourth round against Irina-Camelia Begu, but Kerber will present an entirely different set of challenges.
If the 21-year-old American can pull off the upset, it will be her biggest WTA win since last year's victory over Petra Kvitova in the third round of the Australian Open.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!