Miami Masters 2015: Djokovic Survives Dolgopolov Scare, Raonic Loses to Isner, Murray Records 500th Win and Sania/Hingis Enter Semis

Miami Masters 2015Novak Djokovic had a scary match against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov but managed to win and set up a quarterfinal clash with David Ferrer. On his part, Ferrer defeated Frenchman Gilles Simonin a 95-minute match. In a duel between two big-serving players, USA’s John Isner edged out Canada’s no.5 seed Milos Raonic and Great Britain’s Andy Murray completed his 500th victory on the ATP World Tour. In other men’s singles matches, Tomas Berdych came through as Frenchman Gael Monfils injured himself in an acrobatic tumble and retired; Japanese Kei Nishikori had an easy win over Belgium’s David Goffin; Austria’s Dominic Thiem fought off to win against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino and Argentina’s Juan Monaco defeated Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. On the women’s side Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro stopped Venus Williams resurgence in a tough three-set encounter and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic defeated Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. In women’s doubles, India’s Sania Mirza and Swiss woman Martina Hingis entered the semifinals.

Djokovic ran into Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in his fourth round match and began by losing the first set. The two guys traded breaks in the first set but Dolgopolov outplayed Djokovic in tiebreak. Dolgopolov had an upper hand early in the second set, when he broke the Serb to take a 4-2 lead but Djokovic survived by breaking back. Another break gave Djokovic a 6-5 lead and he served out to take the set 7-5. Djokovic played like champion in third set by taking 24 of 27 points to clinch a 6-7, 7-5, 6-0 victory. Djokovic’s quarterfinal opponent will be David Ferrer, who defeated no.12 seed Gilles Simon of France 7-6, 6-0 in a match that lasted 95 minutes. the sixth seeded Ferrer rode on the strength of breaking Simon 6 times out of 11 chances and advanced to his sixth quarter-final at Miami.

Andy Murray became the 9th active player in ATP circuit to notch 500 career victories, when he defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in his fourth round match. But Murray needed three sets before he could beat Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. No British player in Open Era has won more matches than Murray, as Tim Henman recorded 496 wins while Greg Rusedski’s count was 436. Only recently Tommy Robredo and Tomas Berdych had crossed the milestone and Murray has been quick on their heels. In notching up the figure of 500, Murray defeated 185 opponents from 50 different countries. The man who sits atop the club is Roger Federer with 1012 wins.

No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan needed just 68 minutes to demolish no.18 seed David Goffin of Belgium. The Japanese dropped just three games to overpower Goffin for a 6-1, 6-2 win and set up a quarterfinal clash with USA’s John Isner, who shocked Canada’s no.5 seed Milos Raonic. Last year too, Nishikori had reached the semi-finals at Miami by defeating Ferrer and Federer but he was forced to withdraw ahead of his clash with Djokovic due to a groin injury.

The match between Isner and Raonic went to the wire and ended after 2 hours 43 minutes with Isner winning at 6-7, 7-6, 7-6. Raonic looked like winning as he led 4-1 in the second set after winning the first 7-6 but Isner made a huge comeback to force a decider. Like the first two sets, the third also slipped into tiebreak. At 4-5, Raonic sent a forehand into the net and Isner converted his second match point to win the match. On the ace-count Isner hit 25 to 13 from Raonic but both players won more than 75 per cent of their service points.

Tomas Berdych reached the semifinal, when Frenchman Gael Monfils retired after injuring himself during their fourth round match. Monfils fell as he lunged to play a wide forehand. Perhaps reminded by their last meeting in Rotterdam where Monfils jumped over the net to help him, Berdych returned the favor at Miami in a jiffy. But despite getting on his feet Monfils couldn’t continue beyond one more game. Berdych’s quarterfinal opponent will be Argentina’s Juan Monaco, who defeated Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3.

Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in a tough three-setter. The contest had fortunes fluctuating from one side to another and in the end Theim came through with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 win. The Austrian will meet Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.

On the WTA side, only two singles matches were played. In the first, Carla Suarez Navarro halted the run of Venus Williams after losing the first set 0-6. Navarro won the next two sets and entered the semifinals. In the other match, ninth seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany defeated Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2 and she will meet Navarro for a place in the final.

Continuing their great mutual understanding, India’s Sania Mirza and Switzerland’s Martina Hingis entered the semifinal of women’s doubles by beating Australian sisters Anastasia and Arina Rodinova 6-3, 6-4. Sania/Hingis won the Indian wells last month in their maiden appearance together and their pairing is a big talking point in tennis circuits. They lived up to the entire hoop-la and look good to take their second title in a row.

R K Gupta

R K Gupta

Mr. RK Gupta has been a prolific Kridangan writer on major international sport-events for last two years. Basically a Mechanical Engineer and Administrative Management Post Graduate, Mr. Gupta took to blog-writing as a hobby after his retirement in 2011. He graduated to full-time sports-writing after joining Kridangan.com in 2013. Most of Mr. Gupta’s posts are topical and analytical in nature; completely distinct from usual media reports. His narration on popular sports-events lends uniqueness to the reporting and makes it enjoyable for global sports readership.
R K Gupta

R K Gupta

Mr. RK Gupta has been a prolific Kridangan writer on major international sport-events for last two years. Basically a Mechanical Engineer and Administrative Management Post Graduate, Mr. Gupta took to blog-writing as a hobby after his retirement in 2011. He graduated to full-time sports-writing after joining Kridangan.com in 2013. Most of Mr. Gupta’s posts are topical and analytical in nature; completely distinct from usual media reports. His narration on popular sports-events lends uniqueness to the reporting and makes it enjoyable for global sports readership.

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