Djokovic holds off Ferrer

Djokovic holds off Ferrer

World number one Novak Djokovic shook off a battling David Ferrer, beating the fifth seed 6-2 7-6 (7/1) to book his place in the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open this morning.

The Serbian was dominant in the first set in Miami and was poised to take the second in similarly brisk style when he broke at the start of the second.

Ferrer broke back, though, and he did so again as Djokovic served for the match having broken the Spaniard for a second time.

But the defending champion got the early mini-break in the tie-break and never looked back as he sealed victory in one hour and 53 minutes.

"I am very happy," said Djokovic on www.espn.com. "The scoreline doesn't say much because you have to earn your points against him.

"Coming into Miami, I was confident. This is the best match I've played the last couple of weeks in the States."

Next up for Djokovic is Juan Monaco, who upset eighth seed Mardy Fish - and the home crowd - with a 6-1 6-3 victory.

Birthday boy Monaco needed just 83 minutes to breeze past an out-of-sorts Fish on the day he turned 28 and said on www.atptour.com: "It was unbelievable.

"I think the way to celebrate my birthday [is] playing like this, like I did today.

"[I] feel proud and very happy [to] be here on my birthday."

World number two Maria Sharapova booked her place in the final of the women's event with a 4-6 6-2 6-4 victory in a topsy-turvy match against fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Sharapova raced into a 4-1 lead, before Wozniacki rallied to win five games in a row, taking the first set.

The second was more one-sided, and the Russian edged the third to advance in two hours and 34 minutes.

Sharapova told www.sonyericssonopen.com: "I'm really pleased that after losing that first one, being up and playing really well and then backing off and her stepping up, I could have easily just [have gone] down in the second set.

"But I really stepped it up again. I went out there and started being aggressive. I didn't stop after I put myself in a good position. I'm extremely pleased that I pulled it out today."

Sharapova will face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the final after the Pole beat Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-2 in the second semi.

French seventh seed Bartoli could not repeat the heroics of her semi-final victory over world number one Victoria Azarenka, whose 26-match winning run she ended yesterday.

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