2018 ATP Miami Masters 1000: Preview Of The Semifinals

Fourth seeded Juan Martin Del Potro and fifth seeded Alexander Zverev are within one win from setting up a mouth watering final in Miami after both advanced in contrasting styles in the Quarter-finals. While, the Argentine, nicknamed the Tower of Tandil came from a set down to Milos Raonic of Canada, 5-7,7-6(1),7-6(3); Zverev had a routine 6-4,6-4 win over the Croat Borna Coric.

Also advancing to the last four is the lone American left in the draw, 14th seeded John Isner who routed the Korean teenager Hyeon Chung 6-1,6-4. The last spot has been taken by the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who upset the South African Kevin Anderson 6-4,5-7,7-6(6). While Isner faces Del Potro in the afternoon session on Friday, Zverev will take on Carreno Busta in the evening session under lights.

Del Potro, winner of two back to back titles in Acapulco and Indian Wells this month, survived 18 aces from the 20th seeded Raonic. Once ranked a career high third in the rankings in 2016, Raonic took the first set 7-5, getting the lone break of service. Del Potro, who has now won 15 consecutive matches fought back gallantly to claim the next two sets in a tie-break, the match lasting two hours and fifty two minutes. Both players had a very high first serve percentage in the entire match. Del Potro was 72%, while Raonic was at 67%. Del Potro won 110 points, while Raonic won 105.

 Del Potro takes on the local favourite John Isner against whom he has a 6-3 head to head record. Isner needed only one hour and seven minutes to against the 19th seeded Chung. He had 13 aces and saved the only break point he faced in the match. He converted on three out of the seven break point chances. Isner improves to 3-1 against the Korean.

In what was a rematch of the Semi-final in New York last September, 16th seeded Carreno Busta recorded his first win in five attempts against Anderson, seeded sixth. The pair had also met in Indian Wells a fortnight ago when the 6ft 8 inch tall Anderson had prevailed in a third set tie-break. Busta looked set to avenge his losses and indeed had two match points on his own serve in the tenth game of the second set after clinching the opening set 6-4. Anderson then reeled off three games in a row from 4-5 down to claim the second set 7-5 and forced a decider. To his credit, the Spaniard who 1-21 lifetime against Top 20 players, stayed calm and despite trailing 5-6 on Anderson’s serve in the third set tie-break, took the last three points to claim a spot in the Semi-finals.

The German sensation Zverev, winner of two Master’s series titles last year on Red clay in Rome and in Montreal on hard courts, went into his match having lost both his previous matches to Coric. But like his previous match on Tuesday against Nick Kyrgios, the German outplayed his opponent in only one hour and twenty three minutes saving both the break points he faced in the match. He had eight aces and converted one break point in each set, he was six out of eight overall. It will be Zverev’s first meeting against the Spaniard.

Following is the line up in the last four with my pick mentioned first:-

Alexander Zverev (4) (12-4) v. Pablo Carreno Busta (16) (10-6)
Juan Martin Del Potro (5) (21-3) v. John Isner (14) (6-6).

– 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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