World No. 1 Novak Djokovic fought through treatment from the trainer for back spasms during a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych in the late match on Wednesday night at the Miami Open.
The Serb moved into the semifinals and improved his win-loss record to a sterling 26-1 on the year. He has won the last two Miami Open titles, and another would tie the record of six by Andre Agassi.
Djokovic received treatment from the trainer for lower back spasms in the second set, but said in his on-court interview afterwards that it would not impede his march toward the title. Berdych had only eight unforced errors during the match, with the Serb logging more than four times as many.
“No concerns,” he said of the back. “None at all
“This was overall from the first to the last point the best match I’ve played of the tournament,” Djokovic said. “And it comes at the right stage of the event.”
Djokovic improved to an amazing 20-0 career record versus Berdych on hard courts.
In the semis the world No. 1 will meet diminutive No. 15 seed David Goffin, who came from a set down to beat No. 18 Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 and advance to his first Miami Open semifinal.
Rain delayed the start of the match, and Simon delayed Goffin’s progression, winning the first set with a wall-like effort that the Belgian seemed unable to break through. But from there on Goffin upped his service percentage and his aggression.
“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 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 second set the 25-year-old Goffin converted all three break points to level the match, and in the third set rolled to a 6-1 victory to set up meeting with Djokovic.
“I have nothing to lose,” Goffin said of playing the Serb. “He won almost everything this year. He’s playing
unbelievable tennis at the moment. But I played a great match against him last year in Cincinnati, and it could be interesting to watch the match.”
Thursday’s quarterfinal action in Miami will see (6) Kei Nishikori vs. (16) Gael Monfils, and (12) Milos Raonic vs. (24) Nick Kyrgios.
THURSDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
WTA –  S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs  T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP –  K. Nishikori (JPN) vs  G. Monfils (FRA)
ATP –  M. Raonic (CAN) vs  N. Kyrgios (AUS)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA –  V. Azarenka (BLR) vs  A. Kerber (GER)
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