(March 26, 2017) Rafael Nadal rebounded from a shutout set on Sunday to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Miami Open.
“He was doing everything good,” Nadal said of his opponent. “So that’s sport, as I said hundred of times, is easy, and when somebody is playing the way that he was playing the first set, what have to do is lose the set because he was playing too good. That’s it.
“Then match is long, and positive thing is I hold very well the pressure this afternoon after a very tough first set. I resisted well the first few games on the second, and then I think I played a great second and third set.”
This was Nadal’s 1000th career match , putting him at No. 11 on the all-time list.
“1000 matches is a lot of matches obvious and good news, because that says that I am having a long career. That’s something important, especially that during a lot of years I heard that I going to have a short career. So it’s something important for me.
“Yes, during the match was good feelings to have a comeback like I had today. The first match I remember very well because it was at home in Mallorca. It was my first victory on the ATP. Was a great feeling.”
Nadal will play Nicolas Mahut for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Nadal said: “He’s playing great, no? He had already couple of great victories here. He’s a very dangerous opponent. His serve is huge and he’s able to play so aggressive, hitting the ball very, very early and going to the net very often.
“So he’s a player that I need to be quick and trying to be very solid with my serve, because I know that probably I don’t going to have a lot of options on the return, no?”
The fifth seeded Nadal is seeking his first Miami Open title, having reached the final four times.
No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori beat No. 25 Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-1 in two hours and 44 minutes. The man from Japan failed to close out the match in straight sets, holding a match point in the ninth game of the second set.
“I knew it’s going to be a tough one,” Nishikori said. Fernando is very solid player. He has great serve and great groundstrokes. I knew it’s going to be a long rallies.
“But it was a little bit shame when I was up a break both sets, first and second sets, and went to 7-6 both sets. That was something I made some mistakes when I was up a break.
“But in the third set I was very focused. Even though after first and second was tough, tough sets, I was try to play more energy, and I think everything was working well in the third set.
“So, yeah, it was tough one, but I’m very happy to win today.”
No. 3 seed Milos Raonic was forced to pull out of the tournaments with a right hamstring injury, which has sidelined him for most of the last month.
“It’s related to the previous injury I sustained almost four weeks ago, if not a little bit more than four weeks ago, in Delray. It’s the same muscle in the hamstring up high,” said the Canadian..
“It got progressively worse after my first round, after practicing yesterday, and it seemed like it was not possible for me to compete today without putting myself at significant risk.”
The 36-year-old Venus Williams moved into the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over qualifier Patricia Maria Tig.
“I love South Florida,” she told the crowd after her win “It’s really home.”
The 11th seed and three-time Miami champion was asked about the potential relocation of the tournament. Williams lives 100 miles away from Key Biscayne in Palm Beach Gardens.
“It hasn’t been easy. I’m very biased. I would love it to stay here because it’s been a staple of my life just as a child coming here and being from South Florida. I would love it to happen, and hopefully it’s in the cards.”
Per the Miami Herald, the Dolphins owner is interested in buying the tournament.
“He loves tennis, I love tennis, so, mmm, let’s keep it in South Florida,” Williams said. Yeah. If it works, I would love that.”
The seven-time major champion will play No. 7 seed and 2006 Miami Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.
No. 1 player Angelique Kerber needed to rally from breaks in both sets to beat American Shelby Rogers 6-4, 7-5.
No. 8 seed Madison Keys lost to unseeded Lara Arruabarrena 7-5, 7-5.
Other seeded winners: No. 3 Simona Halep, No. 10 Johanna Konta and No. 14 Sam Stosur.