Defending champ Medvedev, No. 1 seed Alcaraz advance to Miami Open quarterfinals

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Defending Miami Open champion Daniil Medvedev won his 350th career match to move into the quarterfinals for a fourth straight year, beating Dominik Koepfer 7-6 (5), 6-0 on Tuesday.

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz also advanced with ease in a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 23 seed Lorenzo Musetti.

Alcaraz, who beat Musetti in less than 90 minutes and looked comfortable as ever on the court, said he's “probably” playing his best tennis since last summer. That ankle injury from last month is no longer a concern, he said.

“I don't know if this is the best game that I'm playing, but without a doubt it's the best feeling,” the Wimbledon champion said. “I'm feeling great on the court. I'm moving great. ... I'm not thinking about the ankle anymore on the court.”

Alcaraz will face No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday in the quarterfinals. Dimitrov beat No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) after a tiebreaker in which Hurkacz was penalized for touching the net with his foot.

Tied at 2-2 in the tiebreaker, the match referee said Hurkacz’s foot touched the net as he charged forward on a return. It cost him a point. Hurkacz slammed his racquet in protest.

In a match that lasted well into Wednesday morning, 2018 finalist and No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev reached his fourth Miami Open quarterfinal with a 6-1, 6-4 win over 15th-seeded Karen Khachanov 6-1, 6-4.

No. 3 seed Medvedev, after a tight opening set, pulled away to win his ninth straight match in south Florida and continue his run at back-to-back titles.

Medvedev trailed 4-0 in the tiebreaker before rallying to take the set. He said he used that momentum to get out to a fast start and finish his milestone victory.

“I would say before the match, the desire to win is the same, but for sure, the feeling of winning, and during the match while you're winning, is different,” he said. “The feelings are different, but the desire is the same and that's what keeps me going."

Medvedev goes for victory No. 351 on Wednesday against Nicolas Jarry, the No. 22 seed who ousted No. 7 seed Casper Ruud 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner, seeded No. 2, improved to 19-1 in matches this year with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Christopher O'Connell to reach the quarterfinals.

In the middle of the match, commentators said a spectator had fainted in the 82 degree temperatures and play was stopped. Sinner came to the sideline and passed up drinks and towels to the person.

Also advancing was Tomas Machac, who reached the quarterfinals to face Sinner with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Matteo Arnaldi.

On the women’s side, No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina outlasted No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-4 in a grueling match that lasted 2 hours and 48 minutes to earn a spot in the semifinals.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka defeated Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-3 to also make the semifinals. It was the second time that Azarenka, 34, has made it to the semifinals this season after going that far just once in 2023. She has won the Miami Open three times.

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis