Miami: World number one Novak Djokovic remained on course to clinch this year’s Miami Open title as he hammered 38th-ranked Joao Sousa in straight sets to race into the pre-quarterfinals of the tournament.
The two-time defending champion, who is aiming to equal Andre Agassi’s record of six career Miami titles, thrashed his Portugese compatriot 6-4, 6-1 in the third round contest that lasted for one hour and 18 minutes.
Reflecting on his performance, Djokovic said that the first set could have gone in favour of Sousa, but added that he somehow managed to strike the right balls at the right time.
It was Djokovic’s twelfth straight win at the hardcourt event and 26th in his past 27 Miami appearances.
With the win, the 28-year-old Serbian has set up clash with 14th seed Dominic Thiem, who also made it to the next round after beating 124th-ranked Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 6-2.
In the women’s singles event, Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and Indian Wells winner Victoria Azarenka also romped into the last-16 of the event after claiming victory over their respective opponents.
Earlier this month, Djokovic clinched his third title of the season at Indian Wells, having started the year with the win over Rafael Nadal in Doha before clinching his 11th Grand Slam at Australian Open by beating Andy Murray.