KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- In one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament, Roger Federer cruised past Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round match of the Miami Open on Monday.
It was Federer's blistering backhand versus Del Potro's venomous forehand but in the end, the backhand won as Federer took the match 6-3, 6-4.
The No. 4 seed broke Del Potro's serve in the eighth game to go up 5-3. The Argentine had an opportunity in the next game to break back but instead, squandered four breakpoints when Federer wrapped up the set 6-3 with a sneaky drop shot. In the second set, the Swiss secured another break in the fifth game to go up 3-2, and that was enough to send him to the fourth round.
"Probably, you know. Looking back, that was probably the key," said Federer reflecting on the breakpoints he saved. "I knew it when he had the break point at 15-40, if I could dig my way out of that game, and instead of being broken hold and win the set, it's a good escape.
"So I think I did well there. Juan Martin didn't play his best because he did have his chances there on second serves and he could've done better, maybe played more aggressive, who knows what. But I hit some good shots to stay in in there."
It was the Swiss's aggressive game that was impressive today as he returned serve from inside the baseline, neutralizing Del Potro's lethal forehand shots.
Federer next faces Roberto Bautista Agut, who he the Swiss leads 5-0 in their head-to-head.
"I think I respect Bautista Agut a lot," said the Swiss about his next opponent. "Was watching his match against Querrey and I really thought Querrey was playing great in the first set.
"I thought that at some point he was going steamroll, but that's what Bautista Agut does so well. He competes so well point for point, day in day out, and he plays ton of tournaments, and he's really just match tough," said Federer.
Earlier, Angelique Kerber advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Risa Ozaki.