Serena wins number 700 to reach Miami Open quarterfinals, Murray staves off challenge from Thiem
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Serena Williams won a topsy-turvy encounter over in-form German Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday in Miami, as the wrorld number booked her place in the semifinals 7-6(4) 1-6 6-3. Serena did well win a nervy first set, and it was a good thing she survived the tiebreak, because Lisicki caught fire in the second set, bludgeoning Serena into a third set. Serena would recover from her daze and pull it out in the third however for her 700th WTA match win. A win that puts her behind just seven WTA greats on the all-time list, including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf.
Simona Halep was also a winner on the day as she beat the unseeded Sloane Stephens 6-1 7-5. Stephens pressured in the opening game but quickly fell away in the first set, and in the second she fought back from a break down to extend the set into extra innings, but Halep was the superior player and her class finally shown through to break and hold her serve 7-5.
On the men’s side Dominic Thiem played a great opening set of tennis against Andy Murray, but the more experienced and higher ranked Scot would dominate the rest of the match. Thiem was firing winners and was stiff on his serve, but Murray winning over 80% of his first serve points in the match, and recovered from the disappointment of dropping the opening set to break early in the second, and though he lost that break as the match went to 3-6 4-4, he would break again to take the second set 6-4, and then he dashed the hopes of a wilted Thiem 6-1 in the third for a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory.
Tomas Berdych dealt with hot patches of play from Juan Monaco in the late match, and won 6-3 6-4. Berdych found himself bothered by a time violation in the first set and after going 4-2 up, got broken. However, Monaco failed to consolidate, and after a very long game at 3-4, Berdych broke again and served out the set to love. In set two, the situation was somewhat similar, Monaco would come up with some great shots, showcasing superior movement, but Berdych had a larger arsenal weaponry wise, and he served just well enough to get the win, scoring a late break, and again serving out the set, and this time the match, to love at 5-4.
Quisner upset Rojer/Tecau 6-3 6-4, as John Isner has had a fantastic week in Miami, and the Bryans dealt with Anderson/Chardy 6-4 4-6 10-6. In WTA doubles, Hlavackova/Hradecka beat Niculescu/Panova 6-3 7-5, and Makarova/Vesnina sent Garcia/Srebotnik packing 6-4 3-6 10-4.
On Thursday, the Miami Open will have a very similar schedule of matches as Wednesday, as the two men’s quarterfinals remaining are Nishikori-Isner and Djokovic-Ferrer, and the WTA semifinals will be Suarez-Navarro vs. Petkovic and Williams vs. Halep.
Melo/Soares will play Pospisil/Sock in an exciting doubles match, and the Bryans will have an all-American battle with Quisner.
Keep checking Tennis Atlantic for all the exciting updates from Miami, all the way until the final match is completed!