MIAMI — For tennis up-and-comers like Stefanos Tsitsipas, the draw at the Miami Open began to look a lot less daunting even before the tournament began.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer withdrew because of injuries, and Novak Djokovic decided against making the trip from his native Serbia. They stayed home with their 58 Grand Slam trophies.
“It’s a first test to see how it is playing without them,” Tsitsipas said after his third-round victory Saturday. “There is going to be a time in the future where this is going to be more frequent and happening more regularly, and maybe even a standard soon. So, yeah, we get a taste of how it is playing without them.”
The No. 2-seeded Tsitsipas is among those with the best chance to take advantage, and he looked the part against Damir Dzumhur, winning 6-1, 6-4.
Ranked a career-high No. 5, Tsitsipas improved to 15-4 this year — and 2-3 lifetime against Dzumhur. The 22-year-old Greek used his serve to dominate Dzumhur, who never had a break point.
“I created a lot of opportunities with my serve — I wasn’t rushing at all, finding the right angles and executing it perfectly,” Tsitsipas said. “Even with my second serve I felt like I did a lot of damage, not giving him a chance to press first and apply pressure with his shots.”
Tsitsipas will next face No. 28 Kei Nishikori, who outlasted Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4.
Two other title contenders, No. 4 Andrey Rublev and No. 6 Denis Shapovalov, advanced in night matches.
Rublev failed to convert three match points in the final game and then had to sit for a one-hour rain delay before closing out his victory over Tennys Sandgren, 6-1, 6-2. Shapovalov also endured a rain interruption in the third set before finishing off Ilya Ivashka 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4.
Sebastian Korda, a 20-year-old American, fueled the buzz building regarding his potential by rallying past No. 17-ranked Fabio Fognini 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Fognini is the highest-ranked player Korda has beaten.
Marin Cilic rallied to edge No. 13 Cristian Garin 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.