ATP MIAMI OPEN 2015: Semifinals Preview

The semi-final line up on Day 10 of the second super series event played at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida for the Miami Open ATP 1000 by Itau has been set and it has some good match-ups despite the early exit of Rafael Nadal and the absence of Roger Federer who has given the 12 day long tournament which has 96 entries in the men’s draw.

The world number one Novak Djokovic now has the sole possession of the best record for the year as he defeated the Spanish birthday boy David Ferrer in two closely contested sets to win 7-5, 7-5 in the night session on Thursday, thus improving his mark to 23-2 for 2015. It was Ferrer’s 33rd birthday and he raced to a 4-1 start in the opening set and also saved a match point when Djokovic was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. However he lost his eighth consecutive match to the top seed and defending champion from Serbia who is going for an unprecedented third sweep of both the Indian Wells and Miami titles having won in 2011 and 2014 earlier. He now takes on the American number one John Isner ranked 24th who had a surprisingly easy 6-4, 6-3 win over Japan’s Kei Nishokori ranked number five in the world in the first quarter-final on Thursday. Djokovic leads Isner 6-2 in career meetings but will need to produce better play as he bids for his fifth Miami title and his 22nd overall at ATP 1000 level on Sunday. He has won here in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

On Wednesday Andy Murray rallied from a set down against the unheralded Austrian Dominic Thiem before prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. The two time champion in 2009 and 2013 now takes on Tomas Berdych in the first semi-final on Friday as the Czech improved his record against the Argentine Juan Monaco to a perfect 7-0 as he won 6-3, 6-4 in the other quarter-final of the day. The 9th ranked Berdych has a 6-5 advantage over the Scot, their most recent meeting was at the Australian Open semi-final in Melbourne which Murray won in four sets after dropping the first in a tie-break. Berdych has a 23-5 record in 2015 while Murray has a 20-4 mark and the winner has a chance to clinch their first title of the year on Sunday. Early in the week Murray recorded his 500th career win at tour level as he beat the tall South African Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.

The line-up for the last four is as under with my picks mentioned first :-

Novak Djokovic (1) v. John Isner (22) at 7:00PM EST
Andy Murray (3) v. Tomas Berdych (8) at 3:00PM EST

Possible final scenario with the head to head records :-

Djokovic leads Murray 17-8 and has an impressive 18-2 mark against Berdych.
Murray is 4-0 against Isner, while Berdych leads Isner 5-2.

 – Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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