The 2016 Miami Open is inching to the last stages. With men’s semifinal line-up decided, Serbian top-seed Novak Djokovic plays Belgium’s David Goffin while Australian Nick Kyrgios will challenge Japan’s Kei Nishikori. Those matches will decide the two contenders for Sunday’s final. In the quarterfinals, world no.1 Djokovic got past Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych; Kyrgios shocked Canadian Milos Raonic; Goffin defeated Frenchman Gilles Simon and Nishikori accounted for another Frenchman Gael Monfils. Among women, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka avenged her defeat at the Australian Open by Germany’s Angelique Kerber and entered the final with a straight sets victory over the German. In Saturday’s final, Vika will face Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky. In women’s doubles, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have already exited the Miami Open.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic continued with his strong showing in Miami as he defeated the 7th seeded Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to set up a semifinal clash with Belgium’s David Goffin. The Serb suffered from back spasms and required a medical time-out during the match. Regardless, Djokovic didn’t allow the diversion to tell on his game. The world no.1 was also helped by a big count of unforced errors in Berdych’s game. On his part, David Goffin accounted for France’s Gilles Simon after dropping the first set. The Belgian bounced back with a much better game in the next two sets to finish a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 winner.
In the two other men’s quarterfinals, Canadian Milos Raonic was upset by fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios and Japan’s Kei Nishikori defeated Gael Monfils of France. In the first match, after Kyrgios took the first set with a lone service break, the fight went to the second set tiebreak, where the two contenders fought hard but Kyrgios finally prevailed to win at 6-4, 7-6. In the other match, Nishikori also had to fight all the way against the temperamental Monfils. The Japanese lost the first set but won the second to force a decider. The third set was intensely fought and needed a tiebreak before Nishikori won 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
In women’s final on Saturday, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova will take on the rejuvenated Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. The 30-year old Russian, who won the Miami Open in 2006, rolled back the years, when she caused an upset by beating top-seeded Serena Williams just the other day. Then on Thursday night Kuznetsova stopped the dream run of Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky. The Russian veteran faced 14 break points against the 26-year old Swiss but erased 12 of them and prevailed at 7-5, 6-3. In the other semifinal, Victoria Azarenka quelled the challenge of no.2 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Vika had lost to Kerber in the 2016 Australian Open quarterfinals and avenged that defeat on Thursday night with a 6-2, 7-5 straight sets victory.
Women’s doubles top seeds India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis couldn’t come over their bad patch as they exited Miami Open in the quarterfinals after suffering the same fate at Indian Wells. The Indo-Swiss pair couldn’t get their first serve right and lost 4-6, 2-6 to Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan and Romania’s Monica Niculescu. Apart from failing to serve well, Mirza and Hingis were also broken 5 times by the Russian/Romanian combo.
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