MIAMI: World number one Rafael Nadal and hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic barely broke a sweat in recording straight set victories on Monday.
Nadal made short work of Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, winning their third round contest in a rout, 6-1, 6-0, while 12th seed Raonic blasted 10 aces in defeating Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-2 in 56 minutes.
A three-time Miami runner-up, Nadal needed just 59 minutes to oust Istomin at the Crandon Park courts.
Next up for the reigning US and French Open champion Nadal will be 14th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy, who battled back to beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Raonic, who dropped only five points on his serve in the match, reached the last 16 at Miami for the first time after being forced to withdraw from third-round matches with injuries the past two years.
“I just generally improved, especially on second serve returns (and) taking advantage more of those opportunities,” Raonic said.
He next faces German Benjamin Becker, who beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 7-5.
“It’s going to be a tough match but it’s up to me,” Raonic said. “I’ve got to play well. If I do, I can always give myself an opportunity to do well.”
Meanwhile, Stanislas Wawrinka sailed into the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-4 triumph over France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The 28-year-old Swiss Wawrinka will next face Alexandr Dolgopolov after the 22nd-seeded Ukrainian rallied for a 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Serbian lucky loser Dusan Lajovic.