At the 2010 Miami Open the men’s quarter final main draw singles matches have now been completed. Only 1 of the Top 4 seeds who were drawn to make it through to the semi finals survived. No.1 seed Roger Federer, defending champion Andy Murray and last years runner-up Novak Djokovic were all ousted before the quarter finals.
The semi finals will commence on Friday 2 April with the both halves of the draw being played on the same day for the first time this tournament. The 1st semi final will be played on Stadium Court at 1pm Miami time and is between the No.6 seed Andy Roddick and No.4 seed Rafael Nadal. The 23 year old Spaniard has won their last 3 meetings and leads Roddick 5-2 overall.
Nadal moved to 5-1 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after his 6-3 6-2 victory in the quarter final match. The 1.85m left hander will be hoping that its 3rd time lucky in order to win Miami for the first time, after being a runner-up in 2005 and 2008. The 6-time Grand Slam singles champion looks like he is getting close to the form that will end his 11 month title drought, so he can bite into the Miami trophy.
The 27 year old Roddick continued his impressive form to defeat the No.33 seed Nicolas Almagro 6-3 6-3 in their quarter final match. The American has not lost a set in Miami and leads the ATP Tour with 24 match wins so far in 2010. The 1.88m crowd favourite has won 4 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles including Miami in 2004. He has won so much this year that his confidence and self belief must be at a high which sets the stage for a great match and Roddick’s best chance to beat Nadal for some time.
Roddick will need to go after Nadal by taking it to his fellow former World No.1 opponent every game that Nadal serves. The former US Open champion who is pictured above driving up to the contact point for his serve really needs to up his serving blitz. Also, he needs to increase his aggressiveness to take control of the points in order to create opportunities to close out the points.
As always with Nadal, if he can make this into a survival of the fittest and promote regular baseline exchanges he will prevail. By doing this he would have the chance to equal Federer’s 16 Masters 1000 titles. Andre Agassi is the all time Masters 1000 title leader, with 17.
The OCA prediction is that Nadal will be more likely to promote the type of points that he needs to in order to win. Roddick is in a pattern of playing too defensively in the big matches. He is taking too much off his serve and is playing too defensively with his ground strokes by trying to keep his unforced errors down. Unfortunately for Roddick, by the time you reach the semi finals and finals of these tournaments your opponent will also be playing well and confidently, so will be far less likely to commit to many unforced errors. It will be interesting to see what strategy Roddick employs.
The 2nd semi final will be played on Stadium Court at 7pm Miami time and is between the No.16 seed Tomas Berdych and No.5 seed Robin Soderling. The 25 year old Swede has won their last 3 meetings in straight sets and leads Berdych 5-3 overall. Soderling won his quarter final and moved to 3-1 against No.13 seed Mikhail Youzhny after his 6-1 6-4 victory.
Berdych’s has now taken out Federer and Fernando Verdasco to equal his best result here in Miami. The 1.96m Czech will be looking to move into his 2nd Masters 1000 final (he won the 2005 Paris Open Masters), by prevailing in the battle of the big serving, power forehand players. His form suggests he can do it and he is due for a win against Soderling. The test will be how well his fitness holds up. The 24 year old won his 2nd successive 2 hour and 51 minute match in Miami against No.10 seed Verdasco 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
The 1.93m Soderling keeps recording career bests including making his 2nd consecutive Masters 1000 semi final. If the 2009 French Open runner-up continues his dominating run he could set up another rematch with Nadal. Soderling became the first player to beat Nadal at Roland Garros in last years round of 16 match. Soderling has only dropped 1 set in Miami and looks poised to set another personal best by making first Masters final.
Make sure you catch this match and especially the 1st set. If Berdych can get the 1st set he will cause another upset. The OCA prediction is after a close battle it will be Soderling who prevails.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami for both the men and women’s events. Click this link for more details -> Miami 2010: March 22-April 4.
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