Miami: Defending champion Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will meet for the first time since last year`s Wimbledon final after advancing with ease Tuesday into the ATP and WTA Masters quarter-finals.
Wimbledon winner Murray dispatched French 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1 while second seed Djokovic gave away a second-set point in a sporting gesture to Tommy Robredo during a 6-3, 7-5 triumph.
Britain`s sixth-seeded Murray, who trails the Serb 8-11 in their all-time rivalry, was looking forward to a repeat match with Djokovic after not playing him since last July.
"We`ve played a lot and we always have long, tough matches. This will be a good test for me," Murray said.
Murray, who underwent back surgery six months ago, improved to 9-1 against Tsonga, advancing in 74 minutes.
The Scotsman, who converted on eight of his 12 break chances, won on his second match point as the Frenchman hit the net with a return.
"It was a close match," Murray said. "I had lots of break points. Conditions were tricky with the wind. It was not pretty tennis but we tried the best we could."
Despite reporting some pain in his hips and lower back, Murray was satisfied with his level of fitness while remaining aware that he needs to monitor himself.
"I haven`t seen my physio, I chatted to him a little bit after the match, but I need to get assessed and have him treat me. Hopefully I`ll be OK," Murray said.
"It was a bit sore but I still moved well throughout the rest of the match, which is a good sign. I was probably moving better at the end of the match than I was at the beginning, so that`s probably a good sign."
Djokovic surrendered a point to his 16th-seeded Spanish rival in the third game of the second set after a linesman mistakenly called a Robredo return out.
Instead of re-playing, Djokovic donated the point, giving his opponent an ad.
Though Djokovic won the game, the gesture drew applause from fans who had to wait half an hour for the start of play after morning rain.
"It`s something that is part of the sport and fair play. I expect everybody else to do the same. Of course, not everybody else is the same, but for me that`s something that`s normal, just a normal, natural reaction," Djokovic said.
The event got lucky with the weather as faint sun replaced the morning rain.
"It was humid, swirly on the court, there was a lot of wind," Djokovic said. "I just was telling myself to stay mentally out there tough, composed and not get carried away by few points.
"I did well, served well. I made him play an extra shot in important moments and that`s why I`m satisfied with the overall match."
Djokovic, who has won six matches in a row against Robredo, is playing the event for the ninth time. He has a 28-5 record and also leads the way among active players for titles won in Miami, winning in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
The Serb finished off his win in 82 minutes with a forehand winner to the corner on the first of three match points.Japan`s Kei Nishikori saved four match points as he reached the third Masters 1000 quarter-final of his career with an upset of Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer 7-6 (9/7), 2-6, 7-6 (11/9).
Nishikori will next face either Swiss fifth seed Roger Federer or ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Also advancing with a shock win was Ukraine`s Alexandr Dolgopolov, who ousted Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss third seed, by 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
In the quarter-finals, Dolgopolov will meet either Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych or IS 10th seed John Isner.