Obviously this was no fluke.
Former world No. 2 Tommy Haas, on the verge of his 35th birthday, followed up his win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic Tuesday, on Wednesday night dismantling baseline backboard Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1.
The No. 15-seeded Haas employed the same aggressive baseline and net-rushing game that brought him benefits against Djokovic, also outlasting the No. 11-seeded Simon in long baseline rallies.
In the semifinals Haas will meet No. 3 seed David Ferrer, who overcame a slow start to defeat unseeded Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
“I was a little bit nervous in the first set and part of the second,” Ferrer said. “But I tried to fight every point, to be focused and I had a good feeling in the final of the second set and of course in the third one.”
In women’s quarterfinal play on Wednesday, Maria Sharapova was eventually able to swat away the diminutive Sara Errani 7-5, 7-5 in a match lasting 2-1/2 hours.
“Sara is extremely difficult to play,” Sharapova said. “She doesn’t have the height or the power, but she gets so many balls back and stays so consistent, and does it over and over again. She is so consistent. She also has great court coverage and variety. She really makes you work.”
Errani had three set points in the second set after breaking back twice, but eventually gave in after taking too many Sharapova shriek-delivered punches.
The Russian is attempting to become only the third player to win Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back after Steffi Graf (1994,’96) and Kim Clijsters (2005).
“It’s one of the toughest back-to-backs of the year,” Sharapova said. “It’s the amount of matches. It’s also the late matches you play. It’s the recovery. And you’re coming from different coasts…The conditions are completely different.”
Sharapova will next meet fellow former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3.
The Russian leads the Serb 6-1 in their career head-to-head, last losing a match six years ago.
Thursday’s matches in Miami will be (3) Sharapova vs. (22) Jankovic, (2) Andy Murray vs. Marin Cilic, (4) Tomas Berdych vs. (8) Richard Gasquet, and in the final night match (1) Serena Williams vs. (4) Aggie Radwanska.
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