Miami: Defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Belgium`s Steve Darcis 6-0 7-5 on Monday to power into the last 16 of the Miami Open along with Japan`s Kei Nishikori and Canada`s Milos Raonic.
The Serbian world number one, who just like last year won at Indian Wells before heading to South Florida, will face Alexandr Dolgopolov, a 7-5 6-4 winner over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, in the fourth round.
Djokovic, who is seeking a fifth win at Miami, wrapped up a one-sided first set in 26 minutes but faced a sterner test in the second.
Darcis broke to go ahead 5-4 but after the Serb levelled up the set, he broke back and held on to secure the match.
Fourth-seed Nishikori had even less trouble as he crushed Serbia`s Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-2 in 63 minutes.
Troicki, who needed medical treatment to his left side during the match, struggled to cope with Nishikori throughout with the 25-year-old converting five of his six break points.
“I was almost perfect on the court. It is so exciting that I am playing well here,” said Nishikori. “Maybe he was hurting a little bit but I was still putting him under pressure with my return.”
Raonic also moved into the fourth round after a hard-earned 6-1 5-7 7-6 (3) win over French 31st seed Jeremy Chardy.
Raonic was broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second and then Chardy went on to force the third set.
“He started playing more freely and I sort of went the other way,” said Raonic. “He played well in the second set and I think he played better than I did in the third.”
Belgian 18th seed David Goffin beat Poland`s Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-3 while Spain`s David Ferrer, the sixth seed, got past Czech Lukas Rosol 6-4 7-5.