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Wawrinka To Face Dolgopolov In Miami; Raonic Cruises

Miami, U.S.A.

Raonic© Getty ImagesMilos Raonic reached the Miami fourth round for the first time Monday.

World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka equalled his best result at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami, reaching the Round of 16 with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Monday. Wawrinka previously reached this stage in 2009, falling to Rafael Nadal.

The Swiss converted his fourth break point opportunity at 6-5 to wrap up the 45-minute first set, when he hit 24 winners. He quickly took a 3-0 lead in the second set and led 4-1, before Roger-Vasselin won three straight games to draw level. Wawrinka, broke serve a third time at 5-4 to record his 15th win in 16 matches this year. He also beat Roger-Vasselin in the Aircel Chennai Open final in January. 

"I'm happy the way I was fighting, the way I was positive in the game," he said. "Even if I was wasn't moving or playing so as well at the beginning, I stayed with him. I was fighting with myself to get control of the point."

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Wawrinka, who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, is bidding to lift his third trophy of the year and first at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. For the first time this week, two Swiss players are ranked in the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings – Wawrinka at No. 3 and Roger Federer at No. 5. 

Wawrinka goes on to meet Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 22 seed, who celebrated a comeback win over lucky loser Dusan Lajovic mid-afternoon.

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Rain suspended play for one hour at 5-5 in the deciding set, but upon the resumption Lajovic took a 4-2 lead in the tie-break. Dolgopolov kept his nerve, however, to win 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5).

Dolgopolov, who also reached the fourth round in 2011 (l. to Nadal), has risen from No. 57 to No. 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this year. He upset Nadal in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open before reaching his first semi-final at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. 

"Going to be a tough match," said Wawrinka. "He's playing really well... He's a tricky player. He can serve really well. He's moving well. He can play really fast."

Milos Raonic, who lost to Dolgopolov in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals, advanced to the Sony Open Tennis fourth round for the first time. The No. 12 seed struck 10 aces and lost five service points to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-2 in 57 minutes. 

He will face Benjamin Becker, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over qualifier Aljaz Bedene, on Wednesday. Becker is the first lucky loser to reach the Miami fourth round since Ivan Ljubicic made a 2001 quarter-final run.

"I think this time I just generally improved, especially on second serve returns [and] taking advantage more of those opportunities," said Raonic. "It's going to be a tough match [against Becker]. But it's up to me. I've got to play well. If I do, I can always give myself an opportunity to do well."

Nestor, ZimonjicBryans Reach QFs
Top-seeded Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan needed just 45 minutes to dismiss Oliver Marach and Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the Sony Open Tennis quarter-finals. The two-time Miami champions recorded their team's 40th match win at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.

Second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, who finished runners-up to the Bryans last week at the BNP Paribas Open, fought past Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin 7-6(3), 6-7(8), 10-5 after two hours and 11 minutes.

Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi saved all eight break points they faced to defeat third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-5, 7-5 in 76 minutes. Meanwhile, sixth seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic lost just five of their service points to beat Robin Haase and Jonathan Marray 6-2, 6-4 in 52 minutes.

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©Erika Tanaka

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