Raonic steers clear of upsets, reaches quarterfinals at Miami Open

Milos Raonic, of Canada, returns the ball to Damir Dzumhur, of Bosnia, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Milos Raonic, of Canada, returns the ball to Damir Dzumhur, of Bosnia, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Key Biscayne, Fla. AP

The day after winning a late-night match against 22nd-seeded American Jack Sock, 12th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic returned to the court at Crandon Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Raonic did not look tired, defeating unseeded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 54 minutes, 6-0, 6-3, to advance to the Miami Open quarterfinals.

“I played efficient,” Raonic said. “I executed my game plan well. … I really stepped up after a pretty good match [Monday night].”

Raonic will face 24th-seeded Australian Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals. Raonic and Kyrgios have met at Wimbledon the last two years, with Raonic winning in the 2014 quarterfinals and Kyrgios getting revenge at last year’s round of 32.

Both Raonic and Kyrgios have taken advantage of a wide-open draw. Dzumhur, Raonic’s fourth-round opponent, defeated fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal in the second round, while Kyrgios has not yet faced a seeded opponent, as 13th-seeded John Isner and fourth-seeded Stan Wawrinka were both eliminated before meeting Kyrgios.

“It’s really about central internal focus,” Raonic said of remaining locked in despite the upsets around him. “I prepare for the guy I have to play the next day … focusing on what I need to do, then making small adjustments if need be.”

Raonic said he would like to get another shot at Wawrinka or Nadal. He has lost 4 of 5 career matches against the former, and 6 of 7 against the latter.

“I would like to face them,” Raonic said. “Everybody has to step on court from the first round or second round … they have to bring a top level of tennis.”

Nadal fell victim to Dzumhur in the second round, retiring after falling behind 0-3 in the third set. The 29-year-old Spaniard’s upset loss was an uplifting victory for the 23-year-old Dzumhur.

Dzumhur called this Miami Open “one of the biggest tournaments in my life,” and he is confident that his play at Crandon Park will earn him invitations to the French Open and Wimbledon.

“Before the tournament, when I saw the draw … I really didn’t expect this,” Dzumhur said. “Next tournaments … I can play more relaxed. … I’m hoping to continue these good results.”

Raonic has seen plenty of good results early in the 2016 season. He defeated Rodger Federer to win the final in Brisbane, Australia, advanced to the semifinals at the Australian Open before losing to Andy Murray in five sets, and finished second to Novak Djokovic at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

Dzumhur said that he thinks Raonic can make a deep run at Crandon Park.

“He can go to the final,” Dzumhur said. “He can definitely win. … He’s probably the best player this year after Novak.”

▪ Sock’s loss to Raoinc leaves no Americans in the men’s singles draw. The only American remaining in the women’s singles tournament, 22nd-seeded Madison Keys, will face second seed Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

▪ Whereas no American men reached the Round of 16, four Frenchmen did. No. 18 seed Gilles Simon advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating fellow countryman Lucas Pouille, 6-0, 6-1; Gael Monfils joined Simon in the quarterfinals, outlasting Grigor Dimitrov, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3, and 10th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet lost to No. 7 Thomas Berdych, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7.

▪ Two Russian women were set to square off in the first night match, with the winner advancing to face 19th-seed Timea Bacsinszky, who defeated fifth seed Simona Halep earlier in the day. No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova, fresh off a win over top seed Serena Williams, will face 30th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova. Kuznetsova won the Miami Open in 2006, but hasn’t reached the semifinals at Crandon Park since 2009. Makarova reached the doubles finals at last year’s tournament, and had lost five of six head-to-head matches against Kuznetsova entering Tuesday’s match.

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