Miami : Juan Martin del Potro sent his devoted fans home happy by powering into the ATP Miami Open quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Serbian Filip Krajinovic.
Roared on by a partisan crowd, the 29-year-old Argentinian recovered from 1-4 down in the first set to reel off nine games in a row on his way to a last-eight match with Canada’s Milos Raonic.
Del Potro’s welcome return to form and fitness saw him win the Indian Wells title and continue to impress at the last tournament in Key Biscayne before a move north to the NFL Miami Dolphins’ home stadium next year.
“Playing here they make it special for the South American players and I am trying to enjoy the last time playing in Key Biscayne,” Del Potro said.
“I know many Argentine fans live here and are so close. I will miss them.” Raonic, who easily saw off Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4, lost to del Potro in the Indian Wells semi-finals and will be eagerly seeking revenge.
“It will be a different match to the one we played in Indian Wells, different conditions,” Del Potro said.
Del Potro is the top seed remaining after second seed Marin Cilic was beaten 7-6 (7/0), 6-3 by American John Isner.
In the late match, impressive Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, powered past an out-of-sorts Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Croatian Borna Coric in the last eight.
Coric, who reached his first ATP Masters semi-final in Indian Wells earlier this month, has never got this far in Miami but showed his qualities once again with a battling 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-4 triumph.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson saw off American youngster Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 and will play Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta who dispatched fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-3.