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Nadal In Miami Quarter-final Action

Miami, U.S.A.

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal plays Milos Raonic for a place in the semi-finals.

SEMI-FINAL BID: The top half of the draw takes centre stage on Day 9 at Crandon Park as Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic and Alexandr Dolgopolov battle it out for the two remaining places in Friday’s semi-finals. The top seeded Spaniard will look to reach the final four at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the 52nd time when he opens the night session against Raonic. The pair meet for the fifth time with Nadal leading their FedEx Head2Head series 4-0, winning all eight sets they’ve contested. 

Berdych, who is seeking his 450th career win, takes a 3-0 Head2Head record into his match-up with Dolgopolov, which takes place earlier in the day. The pair’s previous three meetings have all come at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada.

RANKING PROJECTIONS: Berdych will rise to No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday despite what happens today. A quarter-finals win, however, will see him climb to No. 5. Raonic will return to the Top 10 at the expense of Gasquet, and victory today will see him rise to No. 9. Dolgopolov is projected to return to the Top 20 for the first time in more than a year with a win today. 

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DOLGO ON A ROLL: Since beginning the season with a 4-5 record, Dolgopolov has compiled the best four-tournament stretch of his career, posting a 14-3 mark. Of his 14 wins, three have come over Top 10 opponents and four over Top 20. He has improved from No. 54 to No. 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings during that stretch. Here is a look at his last four tournaments:

Rio de Janeiro (Feb 17 - 23) F d. No. 18 Almagro, No. 14 Fognini, No. 4 Ferrer; l. to No. 1 Nadal
Acapulco (Feb 24 - Mar 1) SF l. to No. 21 Anderson
Indian Wells (Mar 6 - 16) SF d. No. 1 Nadal, No. 14 Fognini, No. 11 Raonic; l. to No. 8 Federer
Miami (Mar 19 - 30) ? d. No. 3 Wawrinka, vs. No. 7 Berdych (QF)

CANADIANS VS WORLD NO. 1s: Raonic is bidding to become the first Canadian to defeat the reigning world No. 1 since 1992 when Daniel Nestor, then ranked world No. 238, upset No. 1 Stefan Edberg in the Davis Cup 1R. 

UNDERDOGS IN MIAMI: Dolgopolov is looking to become the first player seeded outside the Top 20 to reach the semi-final 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).



[22] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [7] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Berdych leads 3-0

2010 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4
2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 4-6 6-2 6-3
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard R32 Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-4

Dolgopolov advanced to his fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka – his third top 10 win of the season (sixth overall). The Ukrainian overcame lucky loser Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-0, 7-6(5) in the 3R, marking the fifth time this year that he has clinched victory in a third-set TB. In the 2R, he saw off Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-2. 
• This is Dolgopolov’s fourth outing in Miami. His previous best showing came in 2011 when he reached the 4R (l. to Nadal). He fell in the 3R in 2012 (l. to Tipsarevic) and 2013 (l. to Haas).
• Dolgopolov rose from No. 57 to 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after a successful four weeks on the ATP World Tour. The Ukrainian reached the final in Rio de Janeiro, posting three top 20 wins – Fabio Fognini, Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer – before losing to Nadal. He followed up his final run in Brazil with SF appearances at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco (l. to Anderson) and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l. to Federer). He has seven top 20 wins this year. 
• At Indian Wells, Dolgopolov posted the biggest win of his career, defeating defending champion and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). He became the first Ukrainian to beat the reigning world No. 1. The 25-year-old defeated Nadal despite a first serve percentage of just 40. This marked the first time the Spaniard had lost to a player with such a low first-serve percentage. The previous low was Lleyton Hewitt, who defeated Nadal at the ATP Masters Series Canada in 2004 after landing just 43% of his first serves.
• Dolgopolov defeated No. 21 Janowicz en route to Sydney QF at the start of 2014 (l. to Tomic). 
• Dolgopolov finished 2013 outside the top 50 for the first time since 2009. He reached one SF in Winston-Salem (l. to Monfils). 
• Dolgopolov is now 6-29 lifetime against top 10 opponents and 3-3 this season. 
• Dolgopolov is bidding to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF after making his maiden final four appearance at this level in Indian Wells earlier this month. This is his first QF outing in Miami. 
Berdych reached his 29th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF after defeating world No. 10 John Isner 6-3, 7-5. The Czech saved the two BPs he faced, while winning 88% of points behind his first serve. He saw off 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 is bidding for his 450th win on the ATP World Tour today. A win will see him become the ninth active player to reach the landmark.
• Berdych is making his 10th appearance in Miami (23-9). 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 15th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF and first since Cincinnati last August (l. to Nadal). He is looking to reach his third SF in Miami (2-2 in QFs here). 

[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [12] Milos Raonic (CAN)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Nadal leads 4-0

2010 Tokyo (Japan) Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4
2011 Tokyo (Japan) Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3
2013 Barcelona (Spain) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-0
2013 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada Hard F Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-2

Nadal reached his seventh consecutive Miami QF with 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. 
• Nadal 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 has yet to have his serve broken this week, holding in all 22 of his service games while saving the three BPs he has faced. The 27-year-old has won a higher percentage of points behind his second serve (86%) than his first serve (81%). He also leads the way in return games won this week, breaking serve in 14 of his 23 return games (61%). 
• Nadal is making his 10th visit to the Sony Open Tennis (33-8). 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). 
• 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 contesting his 61st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF and first since Paris at the end of last year. He is bidding to reach his 52nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF.
• Nadal is also looking to reach his fifth Miami SF. He is 5-2 in QFs here. 
Raonic recorded his 100th career win on hard courts with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over lucky loser Benajmin Becker in the 4R. The Canadian saved eight of eight BP opportunities. 
• Raonic posted back-to-back straight-set wins over American qualifier Jack Sock – 6-4, 7-6(1) – in the 2R and Guillermo Garcia Lopez – 6-1, 6-2 – in the 3R. The Canadian didn’t face a single BP in his opening two matches.
• Raonic is one of three players, along with Federer and Nadal, to reach the QF without having his serve broken. He has held in 29 games, fending off eight BPs. He is also second this week in aces hit (39) and first serve points won (85/95; 89%). 
• Raonic is projected to climb back inside the top 10 when the Emirates ATP Rankings are updated on Monday. He spent one week at No. 10 in August last year after his run to the SF in Montreal.  
• Raonic is making his fourth appearance in Miami. He gave 3R walkovers in his last two outings.
• Raonic advanced to the QF at Indian Wells in his first outing since suffering a left ankle injury at the Australian Open (l. to Dimitrov in 3R). The Canadian defeated No. 6 Murray in the 4R before falling to Dolgopolov in the QF. 
• The top Canadian became the first player from his country and the first player born in the 1990s to crack the top 10 when he broke through on August 12 last year. He finished the season at a year-end high No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, highlighted by titles in San Jose, Bangkok and a maiden appearance in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Montreal (l. to Nadal). 
• Raonic is contesting his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF of the season and fifth overall. He is bidding to reach his second ever Masters 1000 SF after Montreal last year (d. Pospisil in SF, l. to Nadal in F). He is 1-3 in QFs at this level. 

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