(Reuters) – Defending champion John Isner reached the Miami Open quarter-finals with a 7-6(5) 7-6(3) win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Tuesday while Nick Kyrgios was given a point penalty for an audible obscenity during his loss to Borna Coric.
The obscenity by Australian Kyrgios, who produced perhaps the shot of the tournament early in his 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss to 11th-seeded Coric, was apparently directed at a spectator and the penalty put him down a double break in the third.
It was the latest incident in Miami for Kyrgios, who had already made headlines for controversial underhanded serves, a verbal spat with a spectator who was heckling him and firing off an expletive-laden rant at an umpire during a doubles match.
Kyrgios trailed 3-1 in the opening set to Coric but looked energised when, after sending a no-look volley over the net, he charged toward the back corner of the court where he executed an audacious ‘tweener’ that caught a flat-footed Coric off guard.
While the 27th-seeded Australian picked up his game it proved only temporary as Coric coolly regained control before securing victory to draw level in four career head-to-head meetings with Kyrgios.
Up next for Coric will be a clash with Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat Georgian 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(4) 6-4 to become the first qualifier to reach the last eight in Miami since Guillermo Canas in 2007.
Big-serving Isner fired down 17 aces and won 81 percent of his first-serve points to reach the quarter-finals without dropping a set through three matches in Miami.
For a moment, however, it appeared the American had lost momentum after he failed to serve out the opening set while leading 5-2 and then was forced to recover from a double mini-break down in the first tiebreak.
Isner will next face the winner of a clash between six-times champion Novak Djokovic and Spanish 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer will cap the night session when he faces Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)