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Women's Final, Men's Semis Set in Miami

March 30, 2012 | 12:21 PM

WOMEN SEMIS

Maria's in her 3rd final of the year (Oz, Indian Wells) and hopes to win more than 5 games in this one against a different opponent. Her semi-final against Wozniacki today was anything but easy: 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. She got up 4-1 in the first set before the problems started, but pulled herself together in the second set and had enough to go to the finish. It was only her second three setter here in what was any easy section of the draw made easier by Na Li's poor tennis in the quarters.

Her opponent in the final Saturday will be Radwanska, who expended only a little more effort and time in disposing of another opponent, Bartoli, 6-4, 6-2. Agnieszka has now lost just over 20 games in 5 matches, and is playing with more composure than anyone in the field. Look for her to out maneuver Maria in a straight set final on Saturday. [Now that this has been said, look for the opposite].

MEN QUARTERS

#21 seed Juan Monaco made even liter work of Fish today than he did of Roddick yesterday, winning 6-1, 6-3. Fish played both sets about like Roddick played the second one (when he was bagele). So much for this event giving him back his confidence. Jim Courier has a lot of work to do to get his pair (Isner and Fish) into a positive frame of mind before next weekend's Davis Cup tie in France on clay.

Monaco's run will be over when he meets his next opponent, Joker. While Joker wrestled more on Ferrer's terms in the 2nd set, his 6-2 first set was a clinic. It was hard to tell in the first half hour why the Spaniard seemed to err from every corner (especially off his backhand wing), but the first hand report from Esteves and Esteves was that it was less about him going for too much than about Joker's velocity and tempo. In the second, Joker went up a break early only to be broken back immediately, which happened again at 4-4 and 5-4 when he was serving for the match. Both games endured longer than 10 minutes with rallies that crept up past 30 shots all the way to 40. Winning these rallies and games was what Ferrer's confidence needed. But getting to a breaker with the Serb doesn't really get you anywhere when he reverts to playing with total confidence: it went 7-1 against David, who may have regrets about an importune challenge at 1-4, but might as well shrug off this loss as beyond his control.

TOMORROW'S ORDER OF PLAY

Not Before 3:00 PM

[4] Andy Murray (GBR) v [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Starting at 7:00 PM

[1] Novak Djokovic v [21] Juan Monaco

DOUBLES

The BRYANS lost 6-4, 6-4 to #7 Paes and Stepanek, who will play Mirnyi and Nestor in the final.

Rick

Miami Sony Ericsson Open (final Thur


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