Friday, 31 March 2017

Kyrgios to play Federer in Miami

Nick Kyrgios has another chance to play Roger Federer - let's hope Miami doesn't strike him down with food poisoning like that suffered in Indian Wells, which prevented a quarter final clash with the Swiss master.

Now, with his win over Sasha Zverev in a terrific three set battle, Kyrgios has booked a fascinating semi final with Federer.  It almost was a quarter final to decide who would play Tomas Berdych, because the Czech player had mounted a tremendous comeback against Federer after an opening set thrashing 2-6.

From being fragile on serve, Berdych was untouchable in set two, winning nearly everything on his first delivery.  Playing catch up, Federer found himself down two break points in the eighth game and Berdych converted the second.
No problems serving it out to level the match at a set apiece.

The third set was as close as one could imagine, each combatant able to conjure up a break of serve.  Federer has an incredible tie break record and all bets were on him to close out the quarter final when twelve games couldn't separate the two.
However it was Berdych who took a point off the Swiss serve to lead five points to four and serve for the match.
One serve and it was 6-4 with two match points.  He couldn't seal the deal on the first, and the second was on the Federer serve.

Give Federer half a chance and nine times out of ten you're done.  Here was another instance.  From 4-6 Roger won four straight points to win the tie break, the set, the match, and break the heart of Tomas Berdych, a player who had done almost everything to deserve victory.

The women's semi finals were played and provided further proof of the high class of tennis exhibited by an increasing depth of those on the WTA Tour.
Caroline Wozniacki is playing as well, or better, than she did when she ascended to number one in the world all those years ago.

Beaten by Karolina Pliskova in the Doha final, Wozniacki appeared destined for another loss to the world number three after an absorbing first set was taken in style by Pliskova 7-5.
Undaunted, Wozniacki backed her strategy and her talent and broke down the Pliskova game for the next two sets, winning them 6-1 6-1.
Pliskova's weapon misfired badly in set two, her first serve percentage a pitiful 29%.  Wozniacki wasn't broken at all and didn't even face a break point in set three.

It would be a mistake to put this result down totally to a Pliskova failure rather than a 

Wozniacki triumph.  Both players had many highlights but the Danish twelfth seed was on fire and her pressure won out.

Johanna Konta was equally as impressive when defeating Venus Williams to reach her first Miami Open final at her second attempt.  Both players thrilled the crowd with their willingness to attack and although it was over in two sets,  the contest was close throughout with lots of exciting exchanges and winning shots.

Konta defeated Wozniacki in their only meeting at this year's Aus Open, but to predict the result of the Miami Open final with any certainty would be foolish.  The only thing close to certain is a quality tennis match awaiting us.

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