Miami – semifinals
(1)Novak Djokovic d. (21)Juan Monaco 6-0, 7-6(5) [2:03 h]
Monaco notched impressive wins over American boys in the last two rounds, but to beat Djokovic he needs to adopt a different mind-set and game-style from start to finish. The Argentine had neutralized the biggest weapon of both Yanks, Roddick and Fish – their 1st serve, and felt comfortably on the back of the court because they aren’t able to dictate the pace with ground-strokes, something what Djokovic does really well, perhaps the best in the world. Monaco’s 1st serve percentage dropped from 83% against Fish, to 67% against Djokovic, which is understandable because Monaco serving on Fish’s forehand in particular, couldn’t expect anything but soft returns whereas Djokovic’s retrieving skills are enormous which makes a constant pressure on serving opponents. In the 1st set “Pico” managed to get only eight points (two of them thanks to D’Joke’s double faults…) In the 2nd set he changed his T-shirt (from white to orange one) and reinforced his shots to make the semifinal much more competitive, but turning the tables was impossible, however, second night in a row Djokovic found himself in the same position – failed trying to serve for the match and two games later was two points away from the decider at *5:6 (30 all). The 1st set lasted 27 minutes, the 2nd one… 1 hour 36 minutes!
(4)Andy Murray d. (2)Rafael Nadal w/o
Unfortunately Nadal withdrew due to a left knee injury. “I waited until today in the morning. I did a lot of treatment yesterday,” said Nadal. “But I am not ready to compete today. I am very sorry for the fans. I’m very sorry for the tournament. I’m very sorry for everybody who was ready to watch the match on television… I cannot go on court and lie to everybody.” It’s the second walkover Murray received this week, the previous one from Milos Raonic. It’s a totally unique situation to go through two rounds with walkovers withing one tournament! Something like this never happened before in the history of “Sony Ericsson Open“. Last year Murray won two tournaments getting walkovers (Queens Club & Shanghai). The funny thing is, before the previous season he had not received a walkover even once. Nadal, who gave second walkover in career (previously to Irakli Labadze in Estoril ’04) has now a couple weeks off ahead to regroup himself and he will be again an overwhelming favorite to get back-to-back titles in his beloved Monte Carlo and Barcelona to snap a 10-month title drought.
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