Verdasco dumps Kokkinakis to reach Miami fourth round

Fernando Verdasco dug deep to earn a 3-6 6-4 7-6(4) win over Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis yesterday to set up a fourth round clash against fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta at the Miami Open.

The 34-year-old fired down 13 aces to beat Kokkinakis, who had been full of confidence after stunning world number one and defending champion Roger Federer in the second round.

Verdasco, who reached the Miami quarter-finals in 2009 and 2010, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third set and again from 3-0 down in the decisive tiebreaker before prevailing in a match that lasted nearly three hours. Next up for Verdasco is Carreno Busta, who beat American Steve Johnson 6-4 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the first time.

“It’s never easy,” Carreno Busta, the 16th seed, said after his 78-minute match.

“And this is the first time that I’ve played on this court. But I feel really comfortable and I’m playing good. When you play with confidence it’s easier.”

Also reaching the fourth round were Kevin Anderson, a 4-6 6-2 6-3 winner over Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, who upset 11th-seeded Sam Querrey 6-4 3-6 7-5 and Nick Kyrgios, a 6-3 6-3 winner over Fabio Fognini. In later third round action, Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych faces American Frances Tiafoe while German fourth seed Alexander Zverev will kick off the night session with a clash against Spanish 28th seed David Ferrer.

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