Sun, Apr 02, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Chan, Hingis lose, Federer wins

NADAL FINAL:Nick Kyrgios pushed Roger Federer all the way with three tiebreakers, while Fabio Fognini was less of a hurdle for Rafael Nadal, who won in straight sets

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters

Nick Kyrgios, left, stretches to return against Roger Federer during their Miami Open semi-final at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis on Friday failed in their attempt to complete a “Sunshine double” in California and Florida as third seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova rallied from a set down to oust the Taiwanese-Swiss fifth seeds in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Miami Open.

The Indian-Czech duo avenged their quarter-final defeat in Indian Wells to advance to the final with a 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 10-4 victory in 1 hour, 28 minutes and tie their career record at 1-1.

Mirza and Strycova saved five of seven break points and converted four of six, winning 75 of the 139 points contested to advance to to today’s final against Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, who edged fourth seeds Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Peng Shuai of China 7-5, 5-7, 10-7 in the earlier semi-final.

In the men’s singles, Roger Federer needed more than three hours to outlast Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (11/9), 6-7 (11/9), 7-6 (7/5) in a pulsating semi-final to set up another mouthwatering final clash with Rafael Nadal.

The Swiss, who has won two of his past three tournaments, including the Australian Open, had to dig deep to get through a second straight test after fending off a match point in his quarter-final victory over Tomas Berdych.

The 35-year-old’s win set up a rematch of January’s Melbourne Park title-decider against Spaniard Nadal, who earlier rolled over unseeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5.

Kyrgios, who has twice beaten Novak Djokovic over the last month, left his racket a twisted heap on the court after coming up short in a battle against the former world No. 1 and a partisan crowd.

In their only previous match in Madrid in 2015, the Australian came out on top in a similar three-set thriller that went to three tiebreaks with the last decided 14-12.

“It’s great winning this way, especially of course I remember the loss against him few years ago,” Federer told reporters. “I know I can’t always show my fighting skills because everything else sort of takes over.”

The temperamental Kyrgios came apart in the late stages of the last tiebreak after a fan yelled out when he was leading 5-4 and he miscued a forehand.

The 21-year-old turned to the fan and unleashed a volley of obscenities before serving up a double fault that gave Federer the window he needed to clinch the battle.

“Obviously, I’m an emotional guy. I had some ups and up and downs, bit of a roller coaster,” Kyrgios said. “Ultimately, I think I put in a good performance. I thought the crowd would’ve enjoyed watching it. People at home would’ve enjoyed watching it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they found something bad to say about me.”

Nadal, who lost all four of his previous Miami Open finals, will be out to snap a run of three straight defeats against Federer, including in the Melbourne final and in Indian Wells.

“Winning here would be something great and an important title I haven’t won,” Nadal told reporters. “I served well [on Friday]. That gives you calm when you have opportunities on the return.”

The fifth-seeded Spaniard did not face a break point against Fognini and put his opponent’s serve under pressure throughout the 90-minute match.

The 30-year-old raced through the first set in 26 minutes, losing only four points on serve, while Fognini made 14 unforced errors.

“I was missing a lot of balls,” Fognini said. “I give him a present of the first set. I was playing really bad.”

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