An intriguing quarter-final is set to take place o Thursday afternoon between world No. 7 Tomas Berdych and resurgent Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov. This marks the fourth time they will meet on the ATP tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 3-0.
Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych defeated local favourite John Isner 6-3, 7-5 to advance to his fourth quarter-final of the season. Berdych struck seven aces, won 88% of his first service points and saved both the break points he faced to win the match in 90 minutes. The 2010 finalist in Miami will be looking to reach his third semi-final at this event when he meets Dolgopolov on Thursday.
Following his upset win over Rafael Nadal last week at Indian Wells, Dolgopolov picked up yet another fantastic Top 3 win, as he defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the fourth round of the Sony Open. It was a rollercoaster affair, and one that lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes before Dolgopolov closed it out for his third Top 5 victory of the season. The Ukrainian has risen 30 spots in the last month to world No. 23 and has the opportunity to continue that rise in the quarter-final.
This is the fourth time they will meet on the ATP tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 3-0. Their most recent contest took place in the second round in Montreal, which Berdych won in straight sets. Their previous two encounters both went to three sets. Dolgopolov is playing some of the best tennis of his professional career, but will be faced with a difficult task in dispatching of the 6″5 Czech No. 1. He will constantly be challenged on his own serve and will placed on the defensive, which could ultimately cost him the match.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Three Sets