Juan Martin del Potro reached the semifinals of the Miami Open after defeating Milos Raonic in three sets Wednesday night.
The current world No. 6 came back from a set down to eventually triumph 5-7, 7-6, 7-6 over the Canadian and take his current unbeaten record to 15 straight wins.
In a close encounter with all three sets going into a tie-break, it was Del Potro who took the initiative in the second and third set breakers, winning 7-1 and 7-3 respectively as the Argentinian support in attendance erupted.
Having won his last two events in the Mexican Open in Acapulco, Mexico, and the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, notably defeating Roger Federer in the final for the latter, Del Potro will be a heavy favorite to win his third straight tournament.
The hard-hitting Argentine, who faces American John Isner next on Friday, will also be helped by the absence of Federer at Miami, who lost his world No. 1 ranking after his shock opening match defeat against Thanasi Kokkinakis last week.
“I love to play in matches like this,” Del Potro said after the match. “We both played well, the difference was perhaps that I just played better in the tie-breaks.”
“I am tired now, but at least I have a day off to prepare for Friday. It’s going to be important that I recover physically and mentally because that was a real battle,” he said.
Isner, meanwhile, defeated rising prospect Hyeon Chung in a straight-set 6-1, 6-4 victory to advance to the semifinals, having previously upset world No. 3 Marin Cilic in the round of 16.
The remaining quarter-finalists will play on Thursday with Alexander Zverev taking on Borna Coric and Pablo Carreno Busta taking on last year’s US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.
Meanwhile, Venus Williams was shocked by Danielle Collins in the women’s quarterfinals after suffering a 6-2, 6-3 defeat on Wednesday. In what was the biggest win of her career, Collins defeated her idol and will now face Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals Thursday.
“The first time I saw Venus in the locker room, I nearly cried,” Collins said. “I mean, I’ve idolized her my whole life. She’s been my favorite player for forever. This is such a special moment, I’m just trying to wrap my head around it.”
The other semifinal features 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens taking on Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.