Americans had a great Thursday in 2015 Miami Masters at Key Biscayne. Serena Williams and Bryan Brothers sailed through to the finals of women’s singles and men’s doubles and another American John Isner caused an upset by beating no.5 seed Japan’s Kei Nishikori. For a place in the men’s singles final, Isner has to fight it out with no.1 seed Novak Djokovic, who overcame a slow start before coming through against David Ferrer in just under two hours. In the women’s final, Serena Williams will face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who had an easy semifinal victory against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Against Simona Halep, Serena Williams began well and didn’t allow the Romanian much room in the first set. After breaking Halep twice, Serena pocketed the first set 6-2. But the Romanian bounced back for a proper battle from second set onwards. Finding her rhythm, Halep challenged the powerful Serena from the baseline and rushed to net, when situation demanded. By constantly attacking Serena’s forehand, Halep extracted 37 unforced errors on the forehand and another 22 on the backhand from the world no.1. After Halep took the second set 6-4, the decider went on serves until the last game. Then the 7-time Miami Open champion broke Halep and served out to take the match 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. For her eighth Miami title, Serena will play the final against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
Carla Suarez Navarro had never made the semifinals of any WTA Premier until she contested at Miami. Now she is in a position to take the title if she could beat no.1 seed Serena Williams in the final on Saturday. Playing incredible tennis, Suarez Navarro upset no.9 seed Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-3. Despite her short stature, Navarro played with authority against the tall German and dictated play from the baseline. The Spaniard produced 17 winners to just 9 from Petkovic, and dominated on Petkovic’s second serve, breaking her three times. The consistency from Navarro elicited 33 unforced errors from the German, who yielded to the top ranked Spanish woman 3-6, 3-6.
World’s no.1 Novak Djokovic began sluggishly against Spain’s David Ferrer in his quarterfinal game. It was the Spaniard’s 33rd birthday and he looked in a celebratory mood as he raced away to a 4-1 first set lead. Djokovic then found his game and broke Ferrer in the seventh game lasting 10 minutes. Afterwards there was nothing that bothered Djokovic in the first set. In the second set however, Ferrer didn’t allow Djokovic a cake-walk and saved a match point at 5-4 with Djokovic serving. Three games, later, Djokovic broke Ferrer for the fourth time in the match and emerged a 7-5, 7-5 winner. For the place in the final, Djokovic will meet USA’s John Isner, who caused a major upset of the day by beating Japanese Kei Nishikori.
For John Isner, it was one of those rare days, when he settled nicely into his groove. Everything that he sent down to Nishikori fell in the right place. The tall American had exactly one foot height advantage over the Japanese, who stands 5’10” to Isner’s 6’ 10”. Though the match finally went in his favor, the start didn’t show that as the scores were level until the eighth game. As a matter of fact, Isner was down 0-30 serving at 4-4. But in a sharp turnaround, the American claimed 11 consecutive points and a total of 19 from next 21. This took the breath out of the Japanese, whose confidence ebbed with every ace and winner that passed him by. In a 70-minute match, Isner served 13 aces and produced ripping winners from forehand and backhand and got away with a 6-4, 6-3 victory. In his last three matches Isner has already notched up 47 aces and won 78 percent of points on his first serve and 81 percent on the second. He didn’t face a single break point, and won all five break-points that came his way. Nishikori, who had lost a total of 10 games in the entire tournament until Thursday and broken her opponents 15 times in 23 games, said he felt like hand-cuffed by the power game that Isner unleashed.
Isner, however lost his doubles match playing with Sam Querrey against the celebrated Bryan brothers in doubles semifinals. Bob and Mike Bryan cruised to the final with a 7-6, 7-5 victory to set up the final clash with Vasek Pospisil of Canada and Jack Sock of the US. The Canadian/American duo came through in a tough semifinal by beating the Brazilian pair of Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.
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