Kicking off the day session in Miami is the first semi final between Rafael Nadal and Fabio Fognini. It looks on paper an easy match for Nadal, especially at such a late stage of the tournament. Awaiting in the final will be the winner of the night match between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios.
Jack Sock had been in good form in 2017 but was found wanting when it came to having to step up a level against Nadal in the quarter finals. It was a fairly comfortable first set but Nadal had to fight off a charge from Sock in the second, saving 6 of the 7 break points he faced.
Fognini is a shock semi finalist but has had a fairly friendly route to the semis. Both Lucas Pouille and Marin Cilic were knocked out before potential matches with the Italian while Kei Nishikori looked far from his best physically in the quarter finals and was sent packing in straight sets without putting up much of a fight. He will look to take heart from the previous win but admits it’ll be difficult. “Going to be a tough one. I need to play my best, keep playing aggressive like I did today, and hope to have my chances.” he said.
Fognini did manage to best Nadal in a couple of classics in 2015, most notably the 5 setter at the US Open but Nadal has the edge overall in the head to head leading 7-2 including a win at Miami in 2014. Fognini has never been this far in a hard court Masters 1000 event and will have to be at his best to get anywhere close against an in-form Nadal.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in straight sets