Top seed Rafael Nadal overcame another hurdle on the way to his fourth Miami Masters final by brushing aside Fabio Fognini in an hour of play. The fourteenth-seeded Italian struggled from game one on and found himself 0-4 behind in the beginning of the fourth round clash. Rafa eventually closed out the first set with a hold to love. The story of the opener would be retold in the set number two where the World no. 1 Spaniard established a double break lead by 4-1 and wrapped up the proceedings some minutes later. Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals by winning 6-2, 6-2 and set up a clash against twelfth seed Canadian Milos Raonic who defeated Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-4. The German was the only unseeded player to reach the last 16 at Sony Open Tennis 2014.
“I think I was very focused and solid with my serve,” said Nadal. “That’s very important thing for me and my game when I am playing on hard.”
Aleksandr Dolgopolov has presented another proof of his fine form as he took out third-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka in the round of 16 in Miami. The seed twenty-two Ukrainian has played in Indian Wells semi-final less than two weeks ago after stunning Nadal earlier in the tournament. The 25-year-old Dolgopolov got off to a flying start of the encounter against the Swiss by racing to a 5-1 lead and while Stan managed to pull one break back, he could not prevent the opponent seizing the opener. The reigning Australian Open champion improved in the second set where he converted in the eighth game before leveling the terms. However, he was overrun by Dolgopolov in the decider as the Ukrainian again constructed a 5-1 advantage and did not hesitate to seal a valuable 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory which will see him meet Tomas Berdych in the QFs.
The seventh-seeded Czech progressed after putting in a strong performance to beat local hope John Isner, seed number ten, in straight sets. The Birdman took over control in the second half of the opener where he broke in the sixth game before capitalizing on the set point number three. Both athletes wasted a few chances to seize the rival’s serve in the following set until Berdych came up with a break to love in the closing stages and secured his quarter-final ticket in the subsequent game. The Miami 2010 runner-up won 6-3, 7-5.