Novak Djokovic defeated Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday in 1.49hs to reach Miami Open quarter-finals.
Novak raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set and kept the advantage to take it 6-3 in 52 minutes.
Nole made a break in the third game of the second set, but Thiem attacked and pushed him, finally managing to convert his 11th break point opportunity to level at 3-3. Nole regrouped immediately and broke Thiem once again.
“With one of 15 break points, you cannot beat anyone, probably,” Thiem said. “For sure, not Djokovic.”
Thiem nearly broke Djokovic to get to 5-4 in the first, before a review showed that the backhand that looked like a winner actually sailed a tad long. Djokovic hopped from his seat — he was already in changeover mode — and took advantage, winning to finish off the opening set. He double-faulted to give Thiem a break and knot the second set at 3-3, but broke right back and eventually closed out the win.
“He’s still very young,” Djokovic said of Thiem. “He’s been playing some of his best tennis the last couple of months. We’ll definitely see a lot of him in the future.”
“That’s a positive, in a way,” Djokovic said of his success on break points. “I try not to get myself in those positions too much.”
Match statistics: aces (2-2), double faults (9-5), winners (6-15), unforced errors (34-40).
Novak will face Tomas Berdych on Wednesday at 9pm local time for a place in the semifinals.