Roberto Bautista Agut almost didn’t make it to the Miami Open quarterfinals.
The 32-year-old panish professional tennis player and tournament’s No. 7 seed had to fight off a match point before ousting former Miami champion and No. 18 seed John Isner 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7) on Tuesday — his second three-set win in as many matches so far in the tournament.
Bautista Agut will next face top-seeded Daniil Medvedev, who wore down Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Bautista Agut lost the first point of the third-set tiebreaker on his serve, giving the big-hitting Isner the early edge. Isner lost the mini-break by putting a forehand into the net five points later, then gave himself match point after a 138 mph ace for a 6-5 edge.
Bautista Agut wasn’t fazed, won three of the last four points and escaped.
“He makes always difficult matches playing against him,” Bautista Agut said. “He has a very big serve and a lot of power from baseline with the forehand. It makes it always difficult, no?”
It was Isner’s earliest Miami exit since 2017, when he lost in the third round. He won the tournament in 2018 and lost the final in 2019 to Roger Federer in straight sets.
After some early clouds cleared out and bright sunshine starting pounding down, the mid-afternoon temperature reached the mid-80s Fahrenheit at Hard Rock Stadium and the humidity made it feel even hotter.