Jannik Sinner achieved another personal best on Wednesday, with the teenager powering into his first Masters 1000 semi-final.
The Italian 19-year-old tipped for the top produced a solid 7-6(5), 6-4 defeat of Kazakh Alexander Bublik in one and three-quarter hours.
The winner will await the result of a quarter-final between top seed Daniil Mevedev and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
Victory over Bublik was a double-up for the 31st-ranked Sinner, who won their match at mid-month in Dubai.
Bublik said he actually asked Sinner if he was human at one frustrating point in the loss.
“For me it’s surprising that a guy of his age has such mental toughness.. I called him a robot a few times in the match, but I was very sincere.
“In the crucial moment he pulled off some incredible shots – I had to ask him if he was human.”
Sinner is only the fourth Italian to reach the quarter-finals or better here, and the first since Fabio Fognini in 2017:
The winner who notched 28 winners broke three times to earn his place in the final four, easily handling the odd underarm serve from his Kazakh opponent;
Sinner is the eighth teenager to get this far in Miami.
The Italian engineered fightbacks from 4-1 down in the first-set tiebreak and trailed 0-3 in the second set.