Tennis

Miami Masters: Murray and Federer depart

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Novak Djokovic ends Andy Murray's reign in Miami (©GettyImages)
Novak Djokovic ends Andy Murray's reign in Miami (©GettyImages).

Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori set up a semifinal showdown when they accounted for former champions Andy Murray and Roger Federer in the quarterfinals at Crandon Park in Miami.

Novak Djokovic, a three time winner in Miami, kept his hopes alive for a second consecutive Masters title when he accounted for defending champion Murray, 7/5, 6/3. Murray, featuring in his first tournament since his parting of ways from coach Ivan Lendl, started well on a cool, blustery day in Miami however the Scot couldn't keep pace with the world number two who managed to convert the pressure into three breaks of serve during the match.

It was sweet revenge for Djokovic who lost to the Scot the last time they met in the Wimbledon final. Kei Nishikori halted the progress of a resurgent Federer, and any hopes of a third blockbuster meeting this year between Djokovic and the Swiss.

The Japanese superstar, now coached by former Grand Slam champion Michael Chang, followed up his draining three hour victory over last year's finalist David Ferrer, with another stunning performance against the Swiss great. Nishikori rallied from a set down to end Federer's hopes of a third title in Miami, eventually winning, 3/6, 7/5, 6/4, to advance into his second Masters Series semifinal.

The other semifinal will be decided today when Rafa Nadal takes on Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych takes on giant killer Alexandr Dolgopolov. Nadal, looking for a third title in 2014 and a first in Miami, has yet to concede a set to Raonic in their previous four meetings.

Tomas Berdych, a winner in Rotterdam this season - his first title since winning in Stockholm in 2011 - has beaten Dolgopolov in all three of their previous meetings however the Ukrainian has enjoyed a successful season, reaching the final in Rio de Janeiro and the semifinals in both Acapulco and the Indian Wells where he triumphed over Rafa Nadal. He added to that feat by defeating Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka in the previous round in Miami.

In the ladies draw, Dominika Cibulkova and Li Na completed the semifinal line-up when they accounted for Agnieszka Radwanska and Carolina Wozniacki respectively. Cibulkova followed up her Australian Open semifinal win over Radwanska with a repeat performance that will see her climb into the top 10 for the first time in her career. The Slovakian had to come from a set down to beat the 2012 Miami Champion, 3/6, 7/6, 6/3.

Australian Open Champion Li Na booked her semifinal spot after holding off former world number 1 Carolina Wozniacki, 7/5, 7/5. The Chinese superstar is gunning for a third Tour title this season after winning in Shenzhen and defeating Cibulkova in the final of the Australian Open. Li also dealt with the Slovakian in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells and has emerged victorious in all six of their previous encounters.

In the other semi-final, Serena Williams will be looking to edge closer to a seventh Miami title when she takes on Maria Sharapova. The odds look firmly stacked against the Russian with only two wins over her opponent in 17.

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Topics:
Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic
Tennis
Maria Sharapova
Andy Murray
Serena Williams
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