Nadal and Murray to meet in Miami semi-final

World number two Rafael Nadal held off a rally from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up a Sony Ericsson Open semi-final against Andy Murray.

Nadal led by a set and a break before the sixth-seeded Frenchman fought back to take the second set.

Nadal then broke in the third set but still Tsonga did not give up, creating two break points as Nadal served for the match before the Spaniard finally prevailed with a 6-2 5-7 6-4 victory.

Such a battle did not seem to be in the offing as Nadal raced through the first set, dominating the Tsonga second serve.

And when he went a break up in the second set, the match appeared to be all over.

But as he served for the match, Tsonga finally rallied as won five games in a row to take the second and go 1-0 up in the third.

The set went with serve until Nadal broke to go 5-4 up, but he was pushed hard by Tsonga in the final game before sealing the win with his third match point.

Next up for Nadal is world Number four Murray, who made it through with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Janko Tipsarevic.

But it was far from easy as the Scot battled illness in a lengthy match, calling for trainer Jez Green in the second set and complaining he was struggling to keep fluids down.

Murray believes the problem was down to drinking too much before the match.

“I have this thing that tests how hydrated you are, which I used that for the match, and [afterwards] I was very hydrated, even though I’d drunk nothing the last couple of sets,” he said on uk.eurosport.yahoo.com.

“So I don’t know if I drunk too much beforehand and kind of over-hydrated and my stomach was filled with liquid. Each time I took a sip I wanted to burp, basically.

“I drank very, very little the last two sets. It must have been something to do with that.

“It was so hot and humid, and to come off the court hydrated after not really drinking would probably suggest that I had drunk way too much.”

The British number one lost the first set 6-4, with several unforced errors proving costly after he led 4-2.

He then lost the first two games of the second set meaning his opponent had won six in a row, but, after speaking to Green, Murray looked more like his old self the longer the set went on, winning it 6-3 to level the match, before taking the third.

In the women’s draw, world number one Victoria Azarenka’s winning start to the year finally came to an end as she was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Marion Bartoli.

Bartoli was on top for nearly the whole match, but Azarenka had a chance to assert herself when she led 3-1 in the second set.

That was as good as it got for her though and, with her early-season exertions perhaps catching up with her, she surrendered five games in a row, losing 14 of the last 16 games.

It meant Azarenka’s winning run was snapped at 26 games, but she told www.sonyericssonopen.com: “What I’ve done in the last couple of months, I have to be really proud of myself.

“I could have maybe played better today, that’s for sure, but I gave it all I had. But Marion played really well today, and she deserves the win.”

Venus Williams’ revival came to a crashing halt at the hands of Polish fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who needed just 80 minutes to polish off the American 6-4 6-1.

Williams had no answer to her younger, in-form opponent who broke her three times in the opening set and proved even more dominant in the next, blazing into a last four showdown with Bartoli.

More in this Section

Nowhere to hide for Pogba after penalty gaffeNowhere to hide for Pogba after penalty gaffe

Dubs’ Rowe determined to break Rebel heartsDubs’ Rowe determined to break Rebel hearts

Hogan can bounce backHogan can bounce back

The outside influence that helped Tipp to Promised LandThe outside influence that helped Tipp to Promised Land


Lifestyle

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 20, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

More From The Irish Examiner