Nadal Storms Past Sock In Miami (March 30, 2017)
[ Source: ATP World Tour ]

Rafael Nadal of Spain.

A highly anticipated quarter-final clash on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau ended up being a dominant performance for fifth seed Rafael Nadal, who ended the inspired run of 13th seed Jack Sock 6-2, 6-3.

“I think I was under control during the whole first set. In the second set, it was so important to save that game at 0-2, 15/40, and then get the break back in the next game,” said Nadal. “It was two positive things in two straight games that probably created a lot of damage on him.”

Seeking his first title in Miami after finishing runner-up here on four occasions, Nadal will now play Fabio Fognini for a place in Sunday’s final. He leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head with the Italian 7-3, but the pair has split their past six matches. Their previous encounter in Miami was a one-sided affair, with Nadal recording a swift 6-2, 6-2 win in their 2014 fourth-round clash.

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Former World No.1 Venus Williams put on a vintage display to shock top seed Angelique Kerber in the last of the quarterfinal battles at the Miami Open.

MIAMI, FL, USA - Former World No.1 Venus Williams played stellar tennis from start to finish to upset top-ranked Angelique Kerber, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Miami Open.

"It was an interesting match," she said in her press conference. "I was controlling it. I had more errors than I like and lower first serve percentage than I would like. For me, I'm looking at it from a standpoint of how can I get better.

"I have to play well against the No. 1 in the world. She's on top of her game and she played well, so I had to find a way to play a little better."

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 Fabio Fognini earns a spot in his first Masters 1000 semi-final since Monte-Carlo 2013.

Fabio Fognini is on a tear at the Miami Open presented by Itaú. The enigmatic Italian’s run continued on Wednesday as he advanced to his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final at the expense of Kei Nishikori, beating the second-seeded Japanese star 6-4, 6-2.

World No. 40 Fognini notched his first victory in three attempts over Nishikori, scoring his first Top 5 win since defeating then-No. 4 Rafael Nadal in the third round at 2015 Barcelona. It earns him a spot in his first Masters 1000 semi-final since 2013, when he reached the last four in Monte-Carlo (l. to Djokovic).

“At the moment, I'm just happy. Of course this is a big, big tournament for me. I’m feeling really good on court and other times, so this is the best thing that I can have this week,” said Fognini. “I’m happy about my performance. Of course, the result is positive. It’s like a dream maybe. I’m just trying to be focused on my game and do my best.”

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Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the Miami Open semifinals after coming back from a set down to oust Simona Halep.

MIAMI, FL, USA - Johanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the Miami Open semifinals after coming back from a set down to oust No.3 seed Simona Halep.

Putting an injury-plagued start of the season behind her, Halep came into the matchup after winning consecutive matches for the first time all season here in Miami. And in the quarterfinals, the Romanian even saved match point in her late-night thriller against Sam Stosur.

But she couldn't pull off the escape once again against Konta, falling 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 after a rollercoaster two hours and thirty minutes.

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Simona Halep, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber are two of the stars who have been confirmed to compete in the Mutua Madrid Open.

MADRID, Spain - All of the world's best players have been confirmed to attend the 16th Mutua Madrid Open, which starts on May 6.

With the exception of the injured Petra Kvitova, the field is as strong as it possibly could be according to the WTA rankings - with the returning Maria Sharapova also granted a wildcard along with four other players, to be announced.

To complete the 64-player main draw for the Mutua Madrid Open, eight players will come through the qualifying stages.

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Russian Maria Sharapova.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Maria Sharapova believes that she succeeded in a fight against injustice when she managed to get her doping ban reduced to 15 months.

The five-time Slam winner and former world No. 1 plans to return to competition next month at Stuttgart. She told a women's sports conference Tuesday that she didn't believe a two-year suspension was fair after she tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

The Russian-born Sharapova said that although she's closer to the end of her career than the beginning, she didn't want to finish "on someone else's terms," and she "fought hard for the truth to be out."

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 Next Gen ATP player Frances Tiafoe passes his opening test at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

#NextGenATP player Frances Tiafoe finished strongly in his opening-round match on Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, racing through the final set against Konstantin Kravchuk to advance 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 and set up a clash with fourth seed Roger Federer.

"The guy has about a million Grand Slams and done everything. I can't tell you how excited I am to play. Seeing the draw was partly probably why up a set and 4-1, I started rushing and thinking, 'Oh my god, I'm going to play Roger,'" said Tiafoe. "He's my idol, everyone's idol. People on tour still stare at him in the locker room. He's an absolute legend. We hope he never retires because he's such a good ambassador for the sport."

The American qualifier was unable to convert on two break points up 5-4 in the second set and the Russian eventually levelled the match, but Tiafoe bounced back by surging to a 5-0 lead in the decider. A strong forehand from Tiafoe on his first match point wrapped up the contest after just over two hours of play.

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