Miami, 30 March 2011 | AFP

The world’s two best players rolled into the quarterfinals of the  Miami Masters, following a two-hour afternoon rain interruption which put Tuesday’s program well behind schedule.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal lived up to expectations as the Spaniard strives for a first Miami title. The top seed reached the last eight over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1 6-2 in just 59 minutes.

“It was very, very, very humid. That’s why I’m sweating a lot,” said Nadal, who said the long wait in the locker room did not bother him.

It was a similar outcome for second seed Novak Djokovic as he won his 21st consecutive match of the season over compatriot and Davis Cup teammate Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-2.

Former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro was at a loss for words after his fourth-round loss at the hands of American Mardy Fish 7-5 7-6(5).

“It’s difficult to say something now because I just lost a very, very tough match,” said the Argentine.

“Maybe in two or three days I can say my level at the moment and what I expect for the future.”

Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer beat compatriot Marcel Granollers 6-1 6-2 and South African Kevin Anderson put out American John Isner 6-3 7-6(4).

No.7 Tomas Berdych battled to get past German Florian Mayer 6-3 2-6 7-6(4) and next plays Nadal in a re-run of the 2010 Wimbledon final.

There was third-round disappointment for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the French 15th seed was unable to recover in his rain-interrupted match from Monday against Dolgopolov.

Dolgopolov finished off the final set to post a 6-7(2) 6-4 7-5 win and set up a date with Nadal.

In women’s play, battling Kim Clijsters saved five match points to overhaul Serb Ana Ivanovic 7-6(4) 3-6 7-6(5) to reach the quarters.

Ivanovic, a former world No.1 and French Open champ, led 5-2 in the final set before second seed Clijsters began her fightback.

The Belgian rallied in championship style to earn her place in the last eight of the last hardcourt event prior to the start of the clay campaign.

“Because I have been on the tour for many years, you realise that you have to keep trying until the last point is played,” said Clijsters.

“In tennis, that’s sometimes probably the frustrating part about it.

“It’s never over until that last shot is played. Even if it’s 5-1, Okay, you start a game 0-0. She has to win four points.”

The match had been delayed almost 24 hours after rain struck the event on Monday evening, a problem that returned on Tuesday.

German hope Andrea Petkovic began fulfilling her promise with an upset of Serbian sixth seed Jelena Jankovic 2-6 6-2 6-4.