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Guest Blog

Fish In, Roddick Out, Serena Wozzed; Ranking Battles on the line

March 27, 2012 | 11:25 PM

Without The Heat in town, the big story in Miami is SERENA's ouster by #4 Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4, in what may be the biggest win the Dane has scored in recent memory, and her first win in four matches against the 5 time champ.

Uncharacteristically, Woz won three quarters of her first serve points and hit a dozen winners (more than she sometimes hits in a tournament). Reaching the semis keeps her hopes for a first 2012 title alive, and it will take this title for her to win back her #4 ranking from Radwanska (since the seedings were done 10 days ago, Woz dropped from 4 to 6). Should the Polish star reach the final she'll retain the #4 spot, but to get there she needs to beat Venus and Vika (a tough tandem). Woz need only take care of Maria, a 6-3, 6-0 winner over a slumping Na Li, and then take the title from Vika or whoever emerges past Radwanska. Big agenda. Vika is the one to beat, and whoever does that will be the big story. As for #8 Na Li and #9 Zvonareva, unless they return to form early in the clay season, they'll be replaced in the top 10 by Serena, Kerber, Ivanovic and other recent movers.

Tomorrow: 1pm - Venus v Radwanska; 7pm - Vika v Bartoli

MEN'S QUARTERS SET

RODDICK'S win yesterday pushes him back up 4 spots in the rankings to #29, and a win today over #21 Monaco would have bumped him up 3 more, but it wasn't to be. After losing a tight first set 7-5 and playing the same aggressive tennis he'd played against Roger, he fell off his surf board and was bageled all the way to South Beach, taking less than a third of the points in the 2nd set with just 6 on his own serve. Monaco will face FISH in the quarters, a three set winner over Almagro, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3. With a win over Monaco, should Murray dispose of Serb #2 Tipso, Mardy will re-take his #8 spot before his feet turn to clay (actually, last year Mardy put together that American rarity, a winning clay season, taking 6 of 11 including 1 in Houston).

Joker also won in straight sets over Gasquet 7-5, 6-3, to set up a quarters with Ferrer, who won his match with Del Potro, 6-3, 6-3, with an ample showing of his tough, aggressive baseline play (aided by timid returning and some dismal looking high volleys mangled by the bigger man). The Spaniard needs a win to gain back the #5 spot from Tsonga, a 6-3, 6-2 winner today over Mayer. Jo faces Nadal in the quarters (Rafa beat Nishikori 4 and 4).

In the final quarter of the Nadal half, #4 seed Murray will play #9 seed Tipsarevic (Andy beat Simon 6-3, 6-4, while Tipso beat the unseeded 20 year old Dimitrov).

Tomorrow: 3pm - Murray v Tipsarevic; 9pm - Tsonga v Nadal

Rick

Miami masters 3.27.12


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