Djokovic wins, Berdych and Ferrer battle into fourth round

World number one and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round at the Miami Open, and he was joined by Tomas Berdych.

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World number one and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round at the Miami Open, and he was joined by Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic improved to 24-1 on the ATP Tour this season after seeing off Joao Sousa in straight sets on Sunday.

Next up for Djokovic is 14th seed Dominic Thiem, who accounted for Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2 6-2.

Czech seventh seed Berdych prevailed 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in a two hour, 42-minute battle against American Steve Johnson.


THREE-PEAT LOOMS FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic needed just one hour, 18 minutes to get past his Portuguese opponent 6-4 6-1 at the ATP 1000 event.

Sousa made a promising start, holding serve three times, but was broken in the fourth game by Djokovic. 

Djokovic - who fired down nine aces - was looking lethal on serve but Sousa managed to break in the next game, however the Serbian went on to claim the first set by reeling off consecutive games.

The second set was far more routine for Djokovic, with the five-time champion sealing it six games to one, winning an impressive 92 per cent of points from his first serve.


FERRER A HIGH-PROFILE CASUALTY, CILIC SAYS GOODBYE 

A runner-up in 2013, Ferrer farewelled the tournament after being upstaged by unseeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a dramatic three-set marathon.

Spanish eighth seed Ferrer won the opening set tie-break but lost out to Pouille, who prevailed 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 after almost three hours on court.

Marin Cilic's campaign came to an end in the third round. The 2014 US Open champion was beaten by 18th seed Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

Serbian 19th seed Viktor Troicki was no match for David Goffin, swept aside 6-1 6-1.

Benoit Paire, meanwhile, lost out to 10th seed and fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-0.


FOURTH TIME LUCKY FOR SIMON?

Simon, who gained plenty of admirers for his performance in his five-set loss to Djokovic at the Australian Open in January, has featured in three last-16 matches this season without success. The Frenchman lost in Rotterdam, Montpellier and Melbourne.

Troicki won just 29 points against Goffin, who tallied 56.

Lucky loser Horacio Zeballos fended off seven of 10 break points in his three-set win over Verdasco.

Gasquet did not face a break point against Paire.


DJOKOVIC SURPRISED BY SOUSA, ZEBALLOS DISTRACTED IN WIN

"He made me push myself harder in the second set because he was staying close to the baseline and picking up the balls very efficiently, which I wasn't expecting. I thought he was going to be playing from back of the court a little bit more," said Djokovic.

Zeballos' wife is due to give birth on April 10 and he is ready to withdraw from the tournament if his child is born. After upstaging Fernando Verdasco 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4), the Argentinian said: "During the third set, all of a sudden I started thinking, 'I hope she's not nervous. It was crazy for me to be having those thoughts during the match. I am having a great time here, but I also want the baby to be born already and experience that moment of becoming a father. Hoping she can hang on a few more days."


BIG BOYS COME OUT TO PLAY

World number two Andy Murray headlines Monday's schedule, with the two-time champion facing fellow seed Grigor Dimitrov for a spot in the fourth round. Sixth seed Kei Nishikori is in action against Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tackles Roberto Bautista Agut, while big-serving Milos Raonic faces Jack Sock.

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