MIAMI, March 31, 2016
The quarterfinals in the top half of the draw at the Miami Open presented by Itaú were headlined by world number one Novak Djokovic, who improved his head to head record against seventh seed Tomas Berdych to 23-2, winning 6-3, 6-3 at Crandon Park.
Djokovic suffocated the Czech with good length in his baseline shots, a decent net game, converting four of his 10 break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 39 minutes. The 28-year-old from Belgrade has become the fourth player to win at least 40 matches in Miami, joining Andre Agassi (61 wins), Roger Federer (44) and Pete Sampras (42).
Djokovic will meet David Goffin in the stage of the final four. The 15th seed from Belgium was victorious in his first quarterfinal appearance in Key Biscayne, rallying 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 against Gilles Simon. Goffin took revenge for a three sets defeat at London’s Queen’s Club, the only previous meeting between the two. Goffin sent down nine aces, winning 70% of his first service points to advance after one hour and 57 minutes.
“The first set was tough because it was a good set with a good level,” Goffin said. “Gilles was really solid on his baseline, but I didn’t serve really well in the first set. I didn’t get any free points with my serve, so it was tough.
“I had so many opportunities to come back in the set. I didn’t take my opportunities to come back. I knew that the level was there and I had to keep going like this, just to stay more focused on some shots to finish the points. Maybe just be more precise, because I knew that I was feeling really good.”
In the remaining two women’s quarterfinals second seed Angelique Kerber defeated Madison Keys 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes and the tournament’s number 13 Victoria Azarenka beat Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 36 minutes to join Svetlana Kuznetsova and Timea Bacsinszky in the stage of the final four.
“It’s nice to play a match like this,” Kerber said after the match. “I was feeling good. Madison is always a tough opponent. I know this because we had a lot of tough battles in the past.
“I knew that I must play very good to beat her because she played very well here in the last few matches. So it’s good. It’s good.”
Azarenka was also happy, giving a lot of credit to her opponent. “She’s such a great player and it’s interesting to see what sort of player she was last year and playing well here, so I see a lot of potential,” Azarenka told afterwards. “I couldn’t actually get a read on her serve in the beginning – it was tough for me to adjust – but then I got a bit lower and tried to get more returns in, be a bit more aggressive.”