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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday March 30, 2021

The progress is fast and furious for Italy’s Jannik Sinner, even as the teenager remains focused on the daily grind and the eternal quest to shore up what he considers to be his weak spots.

Tennis Express

Today the 19-year-old, who spent two weeks in Australia practicing with Rafael Nadal in February before the Australian Open, took a big step in his career by defeating Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori (another shining ATP prospect) 6-3 6-2 to reach a Masters 1000 quarterfinal for the first time.

It’s Sinner’s third Masters 1000 appearance, and it's not surprising to see him do so well, given that he’s already claimed two ATP titles and reached a Roland-Garros quarter-final on his debut in 2020. It looks like he could be headed for even more success in Miami, as he’ll face Alexander Bublik in the quarterfinals, a player ranked more than ten spots lower than him in the rankings, and one who is also playing his first Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Bublik, who entered Miami with a 1-5 lifetime record at Masters 1000s (Sinner was 3-2), defeated Taylor Fritz, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 behind a barrage of big serves and clever drop shots.

Four Americans reached the round of 16 in Miami, but three fell on Tuesday. John Isner had a match point in the third-set tiebreaker against Roberto Bautista Agut, but the 2018 champion could not convert and ended up falling 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7).

Frances Tiafoe, who had won three consecutive three-setters coming into Tuesday, fell to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

A Clever Tactician

Sinner says he adapted his strategy on Tuesday to counter the aggressive game of Ruusuvuori, the 21-year-old that knocked off Alexander Zverev earlier in the week in Miami.

"Every match is different," he said. "Today I tried to go for a little bit more, I tried sometimes to go to the net because knowing him, he is a very aggressive player, so I was trying to take a little bit of his time, so it's not easy playing against him. I know him quite well from practice sessions, obviously practices and matches are different, but I just tried to stick to my game plan, which today worked so I'm very happy about my performance today and tomorrow is another match, and I'm looking forward to that."


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