Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic crashed out in the fourth round of the Miami Masters on Tuesday, while last year’s runner-up Andy Murray eased through to the quarter-finals in straight sets.
World No. 1 Djokovic was stunned 6-2, 6-4 by German 15th seed Tommy Haas, but US Open winner Murray had no such difficulties, breezing past Italy’s Andreas Seppi by the same score in the US$8.5 million ATP and WTA hard-court event.
“There are days when you don’t feel good on the court and this is one of those days,” Australian Open champion Djokovic said.
The Serb lost for just the second time this season, never getting to grips with Haas, who kept Djokovic off his game with a number of skillful shots.
Haas, who turns 35 next week, advances to the last eight, where he is to face Frenchman Gilles Simon, who outlasted Djokovic’s countryman Janko Tipsarevic 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Scotsman Murray needed only 86 minutes to book a date in the last eight with ninth seeded Croatian Marin Cilic.
World No. 3 Murray only lost three points on his first serve all match. He also fired three aces and had two double faults.
“Today I served well,” Murray said. “When I was down in games I served pretty good, too.”
“I just keep working on it each day. Focusing hard on each serve specifically,” he said.
Cilic advanced with a 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) win over French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Spanish third seed David Ferrer advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Japan’s 13th-seeded Kei Nishikori.
He is to play Austria’s Jurgen Melzer, who defeated Spain’s Albert Ramos 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
French eighth seed Richard Gasquet outlasted Spanish 10th seed Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) and is to face Czech fourth seed Tomas Berdych, who dispatched 17th seed Sam Querrey of the US 6-1, 6-1.
In the women’s draw, world No. 1 Serena Williams beat fifth seed Li Na of China 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to book a semi-final clash against Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who rallied to beat Kirsten Flipkens, of Belgium 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Breaking Li three times in each set, Williams fell behind in the second set before roaring back to hold off her opponent.
“It’s good to be able to at least come back,” Williams said.
“I like to believe that I try to be a solver. I just try to do things different if something is not working,” she added.
Williams had three aces and six double faults to one ace and seven double faults for Li.
“I just can’t hit any more double faults,” Williams said. “It’s embarrassing and unprofessional. I hit about 50 in one game and it was just outrageous. It was like at this point I shouldn’t be a professional tennis player.”
Williams won Miami titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008, and is trying to become the first six-time winner.
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova
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