SONY OPEN TENNIS 2014
Nadal, Djokovic, Berdych, Nishikori To Contest Miami Semi-final Action
by ATP Staff|
Watch Thursday Highlights
• FINAL FOUR: The 96-man draw at the Sony Open Tennis has been whittled down to four players, who are all in action at Crandon Park today. Leading the way on Day 10 are the world No. 1 and 2, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Nadal, who headlines the night session, goes up against No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych for the 21st time, with the top seeded Spaniard boasting a 16-match winning streak against the Czech (17-3 overall). Djokovic takes on No. 20 seed Kei Nishikori in the afternoon with their FedEx H2H series tied at 1-1. The Japanese No. 1 is looking to become the first player to post three top five wins at the same event since Djovokic at the 2012 Australian Open.
• RANKING PROJECTIONS: Nadal will remain at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and Djokovic at No. 2 despite what happens this week. Berdych will rise to No. 5 with his SF appearance here. Victory this week, however, would see the Czech move to a career-high No. 4. World No. 22 Nishikori will return to the top 20 and could rise as high as No. 14 with a win today.
• KEI RISING: Nishikori, who is appearing in his second Masters 1000 SF (2011 Shanghai), is the first Asian player to reach the SFs in Miami since Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan in 2003 (l. to Moya). The last player seeded lower than No. 20 to reach the SF here was Juan Monaco in 2012 (l. to Djokovic), while the last to advance to the final was No. 29 Nadal in 2005 (l. to Federer).
• MILESTONE WATCH: Nadal, who is seeking a maiden Miami title, is chasing a new landmark today. The Spaniard equaled Brian Gottfried (679) in 12th place on the all-time wins list with his QF victory and a win today would see him surpass the American. All-Time Match-Win Leaders:
|1||Jimmy Connors||1253||8||Ilie Nastase||779|
|2||Ivan Lendl||1071||9||Pete Sampras||762|
|3||Roger Federer||945||10||Boris Becker||713|
|4||Guillermo Vilas||923||11||Arthur Ashe||683|
|5||John McEnroe||875||T12||Brian Gottfried||679|
|6||Andre Agassi||870||T12||Rafael Nadal||679|
|7||Stefan Edberg||801||14||Michael Chang||662|
• BIG FOUR DOMINATE: In the past 35 Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo), the Big Four of Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray have accounted for 33 titles (27 of the past 28 since 2011). The only exceptions were Paris-Bercy in 2010 (Soderling) and 2012 (Ferrer).
DAY 10 FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS
 Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs  Novak Djokovic (SRB)
FedEx Head 2 Head: Series tied 1-1
2010 Roland Garros (France) Clay R64 Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4 6-4
2011 Basel (Switzerland) Hard SF Kei Nishikori 2-6 7-6(4) 6-0
• Nishikori secured his second top five win in succession, recovering from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 and book his place in his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF. The 24-year-old broke Federer, who had held serve in his previous three matches, five times.
• Nishikori saved four MPs to defeat world No. 5 David Ferrer 7-6(7), 2-6, 7-6(9) in three hours and six minutes in the 4R. In the 3R, he clinched his 150th win on the ATP World Tour with a 7-6(1), 7-5 victory over world No. 16 Grigor Dimitrov. The No. 20 seed opened his account with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Australian Marinko Matosevic.
• Nishikori is bidding to become the first player since Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open to defeat three top five players at the same event. Djokovic was the last person to achieve this feat at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level too, defeating three top five opponents – No. 5 Soderling, No. 4 Murray and No. 1 Nadal – in Rome in 2011. (Not including the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals where the field includes the top eight).
• Nishikori is looking to become the first player seeded outside the top 20 to reach the SF here since No. 21 seed Juan Monaco two years ago. The last player seeded lower than 20 to reach the final was No. 29 Nadal in 2005 (l. to Federer).
• Nishikori is making his fifth appearance at the Sony Open Tennis (9-4). The 24-year-old’s previous best showing was a 4R run in both 2012 (l. to Nadal) and 2013 (l. to Ferrer).
• At Indian Wells, Nishikori fell to world No. 12 Haas in the 3R.
• Nishikori won the fourth title of his career in Memphis last month (d. Karlovic in F). He opened his season in Brisbane where he reached the SF (l. to eventual champ Hewitt) before advancing to the 4R at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal).
• Nishikori has finished inside the top 25 in the past three seasons while becoming the highest ranked player from his country in ATP history. He reached a career-high No. 11 on June 17, 2013.
• Nishikori is now 11-24 lifetime against top 10 opponents and 2-1 this year after his victories over Ferrer and Federer this week. Ten of his 11 career top 10 wins have come in a decisive third or fifth set, with six of those wins coming from a set down.
• Nishikori is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and seventh overall. His only previous SF appearance at Masters 1000 level came in Shanghai in 2011 (l. to Murray).
• Djokovic reached his 39th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF and fifth in Miami with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No 6 seed Andy Murray. The No. 2 seed converted on three of six BP opportunities.
• In the 4R, Djokovic defeated No. 16 seed Tommy Robredo 6-3, 7-5 to register his sixth straight victory over the Spaniard. The Serb, who received a bye in the 3R when Florian Mayer withdrew with a groin injury, overcame Jeremy Chardy in his opening match, winning 6-4, 6-3.
• Djokovic is 8/11 on BP chances this week: 2/2 vs Robredo, 3/3 vs Chardy and 3/6 vs Murray.
• Djokovic is looking for his 30th win in Miami today.
• Djokovic is bidding to become just the second player to complete the Indian Wells, Miami title sweep on two separate occasions. Seven players have achieved back-to-back success at the flagship events – Jim Courier (1991), Michael Chang (1992), Pete Sampras (1994), Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001), Djokovic (2011) and Roger Federer (2005-06), who is the only player to have done it twice.
• Djokovic is competing at the Sony Open Tennis for the ninth time (29-5). He leads the way among active players for titles won in Miami, lifting the title three times in 2007 (d. Canas), 2011 (d. Nadal) and 2012 (d. Murray). Last year he was upset in the 4R by Tommy Haas.
• Djokovic arrived in Miami after winning his 42nd ATP World Tour title at Indian Wells last week. The Serb’s victory over Federer in the final was his first top 10 win this season.
• Djokovic’s other competitive outings this year came at the Australian Open where he reached the QF (l. to eventual champ Wawrinka) and Dubai where he advanced to the SF (l. to Federer).
• Djokovic finished 2013 in the top three for the seventh year in a row, winning seven titles in nine finals (2nd-most in career). He ended the year on a 24-match winning streak.
• Djokovic reached three Grand Slam finals for the third year in a row in 2013, highlighted by winning his sixth major at the Australian Open.
• Djokovic is bidding to reach his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and 64th overall. He is 4-0 in Miami SFs.
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs  Tomas Berdych (CZE)
FedEx Head 2 Head: Nadal leads 17-3
2005 Bastad (Sweden) Clay F Rafael Nadal 2-6 6-2 6-4
2005 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Hard R64 Tomas Berdych 6-7(4) 6-2 7-6(3)
2006 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 6-1 3-6 6-2
2006 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Hard QF Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-6(6)
2007 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo (Monaco) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-0 7-5
2007 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass QF Rafael Nadal 7-6(1) 6-4 6-2
2008 ATP Masters Series Miami (U.S.A.) Hard SF Rafael Nadal 7-6(6) 6-2
2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Hard QF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-5
2009 ESP vs. CZE DC Final (Spain) Clay RR Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-0 6-2
2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard QF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-6(4)
2010 Wimbledon (Great Britain) Grass F Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-5 6-4
2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (England) Hard RR Rafael Nadal 7-6(3) 6-1
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard QF Rafael Nadal 6-2 3-6 6-3
2012 Australian Open (Australia) Hard QF Rafael Nadal 6-7(5) 7-6(6) 6-4 6-3
2012 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay QF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-5
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-5
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati Hard SF Rafael Nadal 7-5 7-6(4)
2013 Beijing (China) Hard SF Rafael Nadal 4-2 ret
2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Hard RR Rafael Nadal 6-4 1-6 6-3
• Nadal advanced to his 52nd ATP World Tour SF and fifth in Miami with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 12 seed Milos Raonic in two hours and 35 minutes.
• In the 4R, Nadal posted a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini. The Spaniard won 32 of 35 points on serve (91%) during the 62-minute encounter. The Spaniard opened his Miami account with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Lleyton Hewitt before cruising past Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-0 in 59 minutes in the 3R.
• Nadal, who has his just nine aces this week, has had his serve broken just once (v Raonic), holding in 35 of his 36 service games while facing just six BPs. The 27-year-old has won a tournament-high 75% of points behind his second serve (42 of 56 points). He also leads the way in return games won this week, breaking serve in 17 of his 37 return games (46%).
• Nadal is making his 10th visit to the Sony Open Tennis (34-8). He has reached the QF or better in his last six outings but has never lifted the title here. He fell in three finals: 2005 (l. to Federer), 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic).
• Miami is one of three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events that Nadal has yet to get his hands on (along with Shanghai and Paris).
• At Indian Wells, Nadal advanced to the 3R where he was upset in three sets by Dolgopolov.
• Nadal collected his 43rd clay-court title and 62nd overall when he defeated Dolgopolov in the inaugural Rio Open Presented by Claro hdtv final last month. The Spaniard equaled Guillermo Vilas in seventh place on the Open Era titles list with the victory.
• Nadal opened the season by defeating Gael Monfils to clinch the title in Doha. Qatar was the 17th different country the Spaniard had lifted an ATP title in. In chronological order, he had previously won in Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Monaco, Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Canada, China, U.A.E., U.S., England, Australia and Japan.
• Nadal defeated world No. 6 Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open final (l. to Wawrinka).
• Nadal appeared in a career-high 14 finals in 2013, winning 10 titles. He returned to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Oct. 7 and finished the season in top spot for the third time.
• In 2013, Nadal became the first player to win 35+ matches on both clay and hard in a season.
• Nadal has been ranked in the top five longer than any active player (since May 9, 2005) and his total of 61 career titles is the second-best among active players (Federer 77).
• Nadal was named as the recipient of the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur this week. It was his third Laureus statuette overall. He also won the Laureus Sport of the Year award in 2011 and the Newcomer of the Year award in 2006.
• Nadal is bidding to reach his 38th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and 89th overall. He is also looking to reach his fourth final in Miami (3-2 in SFs here). He fell at this stage last year.
• Berdych advanced to his 15th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF and his third in Miami with a fourth consecutive straight sets win, defeating the in-form Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6(3).
• Berdych saw off John Isner – the last remaining American in the draw – 6-3, 7-5 in the 4R, saving the two BPs he faced, while winning 88% of points behind his first serve. He overcame Portuguese youngster Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-4 in the 3R after easing past Frenchman Stephane Robert 7-6(5), 6-1 in his opening match.
• Berdych has yet to drop a set this week.
• Berdych’s QF victory over Dolgopolov was his 450th win on the ATP World Tour. He became the ninth active player to reach the landmark.
• Berdych is projected to climb back inside the top five when the Emirates ATP Rankings are updated on Monday. The Czech is guaranteed to leapfrog both Andy Murray and David Ferrer, who both reached the final here last year, and a title run this week will see him overtake Federer.
• Berdych is making his 10th appearance in Miami (24-9). His best showing came in 2010 when he defeated then world No. 1 Federer en route to the final before losing to Roddick in straight sets.
• At Indian Wells, Berdych fell in his opening match to Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets.
• Berdych compiled an 11-match winning streak – the longest of his career – last month. He kick-started the run in Czech Republic’s Davis Cup victory over the Netherlands before clinching his first title in more than a year at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Rotterdam (d. Marin Cilic in F). The Czech then defeated world No. 10 Tsonga en route to the Dubai final where Federer ended his streak. His previous best unbeaten run was nine matches (2005-2006).
• Berdych defeated world No. 3 David Ferrer en route to the SF at the Australian Open (l. to eventual champ Wawrinka).
• Berdych finished 2013 in the top 10 for the fourth year in a row, reaching a career high of No. 5 in August. Despite reaching the QF or better in 15 of his 23 tournaments, Berdych was the only player in the top 10 not to win a title in 2013.
• Berdych is bidding to reach his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final and 22nd overall. He is looking to advance to his second final in Miami (1-1 in SFs here).