Top seed Rafael Nadal remained in contest for his debut Miami Masters title – he ended runner-up on three occasions – by entering the fourth round of the Sony Open Tennis 2014 after securing an express victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. The Spanish champion wasted no time and raced to a 4-0 lead in the opener before letting the unseeded opponent getting on the board. However, the 57th-ranked Uzbek failed to interrupt Rafa’s rhythm as the World no. 1 went on an eight straight games run to close out the first set and deliver Istomin a bagel in the second one. Nadal triumphed 6-1, 6-0 in one hour of play to book the last 16 ticket and set up a clash against fourteenth seed Italian Fabio Fognini.
“I played a very complete match,” he said. “No mistakes, serving with good percentage, and playing a lot of winners. My movements were better than what I did last events.”
Seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych also reached the round of 16 in Miami in straight sets as he sent home Portugal Joao Sousa. The Czech was quick out of the blocks to gain a 5-0 advantage and wrapped up the opener despite dropping a service game himself in the closing stages. The World no. 42 Portuguese had more influence on the proceedings in the second set, but still surrendered his serve a couple of times which was enough for the favorite to record a 6-2, 6-4 win. His next challenger will be home crowd favorite John Isner, seed number ten, who overcame eighteenth-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-3. The American scored 17 aces and made it through the third round encounter without giving away a service game.