Who would’ve thought a match between Yafan Wang and Marketa Vondrousova would start a trend at the Miami Open?

That first-round encounter last Wednesday out on Court 8 was the first of the tournament to be determined by the ultimate test of nerves, the third-set tiebreak.

The men got into the act with two first-rounders the next day: Radu Albot beat Ricardis Berankis and NextGen star Denis Shapovalov overcame the veteran Viktor Troicki, saving a match point along the way.


The next two days were relatively drama-free, but on Saturday, it was as if the floodgates had opened.

First, No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova had to rally as Su-Wei Hsieh had her on the ropes. Minutes later, Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, completed his victory over Daniil Medvedev with a 7-5 third-set tiebreak triumph. Another match between two of the brightest young stars in the men’s game went the distance as Delray Beach champ Frances Tiafoe outlasted Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund.

Those results, while notable, paled in comparison to what happened later that afternoon.

Defending champion Roger Federer lost his second third-set tiebreak in a row, starting with his Indian Wells final against Juan Martin del Potro. This time it was Thanasi Kokkinakis who upended the Swiss. The tables were turned on the young Australian two days later as Fernando Verdasco ended his run in yet another third-set clincher.


While the fourth round was getting well underway, Tiafoe was still in the third round, forced to complete a suspended match against 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych. He won his second deciding-tiebreak, but fell in his next match.


As the tournament starts to wind down, two of the final four matches on the men’s side have tested the players’ resiliency. Del Potro, chasing the Sunshine Double, went to the wire against Milos Raonic, while Pablo Carreno Busta overcame a match point against him (and the fact that he lost two of his own) to beat Kevin Anderson for the first time.

It’ll be intriguing to see if any more last-minute heroics are in store from the players left in the draw.

Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias