There will be a new Miami champion and a new Masters champion on Sunday. After a series of upsets, new faces have reached the Miami semifinals on Friday.
Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner are all into their first career Masters semifinal while the elder statesmen of the foursome, Roberto Bautista Agut, made the 2016 Shanghai Masters final losing to Andy Murray.
So someone is just two wins and four sets away from their biggest career title.
Yesterday, Stefanos Tsitsipas was stunned by Hurkacz 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Greek favorite was in full control up a set and a break with chances for a second break. But Tsitsipas went off the rails and just couldn’t get back in form as the Polish No. 1 who won Delray Beach earlier in the year would not relent.
“Here were two factors,” Tsitsipas assessed. “One, I didn’t manage to keep my serve, which is the most important thing at that point. I don’t even have to break anymore, just managing my serve. Didn’t happen.
“I don’t know whether that contributed to him hitting the line on that second breakpoint that I had to go up a double break. I think I would be going up 4-1, serving for 5-1, and he hit that forehand on the line which was quite extreme in the very corner of the court.
“I think it would have been a completely different match if that shot landed out and not there, which was amazing from his side. Psychology would have changed.
“Knowing that you’re 5-1 down, I feel like the opponent would be completely crushed. There would be zero hope for him. But still, I didn’t feel comfortable after that. I don’t know. I felt like that was still somewhere in the back of my head, what a missed opportunity. I could have just completely, you know, punched him, knocked him out. But it was a bit unlucky for me, as well.”
Hurkacz collected one of his biggest careers to reach his first Masters semifinal.
“I tried to stay competitive and positive throughout the whole match,” said Hurkacz. “I was missing some shots that I wasn’t really like happy about, but I believe that if I was gonna start making those shots, making those right decisions at the right time, I’ll have a chance.”
In the evening, in a rain-delayed affair, Andrey Rublev held off a game Sebastian Korda 7-5, 7-6(7).
Rublev appeared well on his way to a comfortable win in the second. With Korda limping due to a groin issue, Rublev served for the match but was broken in stunning fashion.
The visibly ailing Korda then managed to get up 4-2 in the breaker.
“Sebastian is a really great player,” said Rublev. “He’s really talented. He have big shots and he feel confident and he go for them. Most of them he’s making it. So in the end, that’s why he’s great. He have a big serve. Really great at the net. He’s smart.
“He play aggressive. He try to take the lead and go for the shots. That’s why he beat so many great players.”
Korda addressed the injury.
“I will be okay. I had the same thing in Delray Beach,” the 20-year-old Korda said. “Usually happens when I play a lot of matches, and it kind of either just gets sore or something’s there. But, yeah, I’m going to go home and get it looked at and then we’ll see from there.”
Rublev now goes into today meeting with Hurkacz as arguably the tournament favorite and as the lone Top 10 player left in the event.
“I’m not really thinking that much because I respect all the players,” Rublev said.
“It’s more about that maybe I feel extra pressure,” he said. “I’m the one left at top 10 and looks like I’m high ranking and I feel more pressure. But I lost to Hurkacz. Last time I lost to Roberto 6-3, 6-3 just two weeks ago. Jannik, who is beating already many players, and I don’t know, I think he win top 10 players also.
“So we’ll see what’s gonna happen. I’m gonna do my best. And that’s it. I cannot say much. In the end, what’s happen gonna happen. If I will manage to win tomorrow, is perfect. If not, then it’s because Hurkacz is better than me.”
In the afternoon semifinal, following a day off, the young teen Sinner meets Bautista Agut.
FRIDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
Roberto BAUTISTA AGUT (ESP)  vs Jannik SINNER (ITA) 
Bethanie MATTEK-SANDS (USA)/Iga SWIATEK (POL) vs Shuko AOYAMA (JPN)/Ena SHIBAHARA (JPN) 
Andrey RUBLEV (RUS) vs Hubert HURKACZ (POL)
Hayley CARTER (USA)/Luisa STEFANI (BRA)  vs Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN)/Giuliana OLMOS (MEX)
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