Rafael Nadal hasn’t won a title in almost 12 months, but the Spaniard moved one step closer on Wednesday night when he steamrolled Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-2 to set up a semifinal with Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Nadal saved four break points in the first set, showing no signs of the knee injuries that slowed him in 2009 and early 2010.
Roddick had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Nicolas Almagro to gain the semifinals, and is yet to drop a set in the tournament after finishing runner-up to Ivan Ljubicic in his last event at Indian Wells.
“I felt like I played pretty clean today,” Roddick said. “Also, he’s a guy who takes lots of risk himself. So you can keep it low because he’s the one kind of trying to hit the lines and being the aggressor. So I played within the margins today, and hit it well.”
Roddick says he is feeling his groove after his Indian Wells run.
“When you play a lot of the matches and kind of play a high level, it feels like everything kind of slows down a little bit,” Roddick says. “Muscle memory takes over a little bit more, and things kind of just happen. So I think I’m at that stage right now. Unfortunately with tennis you have to start every day and it’s a new one. You’re playing well, but you still have to go out and do it every day.”
On court Thursday in Miami are the remaining quarterfinals in Federer-killer (16) Tomas Berdych vs. (10) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, and (13) Mikhail Youzhny vs. (5) Robin Soderling.
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