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Zverev sets up Kyrgios showdown, Verdasco wins fiery clash

By Sacha Pisani
Alexander Zverev

Miami, March 27: Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios will go head to head in the Miami Open last 16, while Fernando Verdasco moved through after tempers flared against Thanasi Kokkinakis.

German fourth seed Zverev rallied past Spanish veteran David Ferrer in three sets at the ATP 1000 tournament on Monday.

Australian 17th seed Kyrgios' third-round assignment was far more straightforward as he blitzed Fabio Fognini.

As for Verdasco, he was involved in a verbal bust-up with Kokkinakis during their fiery encounter.

Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych was serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down to Frances Tiafoe in the final set when play was suspended due to darkness and heavy rain after 02:00 local time in Florida.

The winner of that encounter will meet Kevin Anderson as Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov also progressed.


A two-time semi-finalist in Miami, Kyrgios stayed on track for another last-four berth after defeating 15th seed Fognini 6-3 6-3.

Kyrgios – playing his first tournament since January's Australian Open – required just 66 minutes to dismantle the Italian as he improved to 10-2 in Miami.

"We both competed," Kyrgios said. "I just played a little better in some bigger points."


The German was less than convincing but dug deep to prevail 2-6 6-2 6-4 after almost two hours against Ferrer.

Zverev was sloppy in the opening set, tallying 11 unforced errors as Ferrer capitalised.

But Zverev improved in the second and third sets to earn another meeting with Kyrgios in their growing rivalry, with the latter boasting a 3-2 record.


Kokkinakis – conqueror of top seed Roger Federer in the last round – saw his run ended by Verdasco, who recorded a 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory.

The clash, however, was overshadowed by a heated exchange between the pair.

Spanish veteran Verdasco complained that a spectator - quickly confirmed as his opponent's father - was talking behind him as he was about to serve.

That angered Kokkinakis, who quickly lost his way after the incident, while Kyrgios added fuel to the fire via Twitter as he took aim at Verdasco.

Pablo Carreno Busta – the 16th seed – awaits after seeing off Steve Johnson 6-4 6-4.

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Story first published: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 12:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 27, 2018
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