Men’s tennis’ top-ranked star Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Miami Open with a straight sets win over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday, and he now faces seventh-ranked Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals of the ATP Tournament.
Up next for Djokovic, who had nine double faults, his most in a three-set match since 2010, is a quarter-final against Tomas Berdych after the Czech beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4 3-6 7-5 in a contest that stretched almost two hours and 30 minutes in blistering heat.
The German second seed, the last of the top 12 remaining, is 1-6 lifetime against Azarenka, but won their most recent meeting in the Australian Open quarter-finals on the way to the title.
But he was no match for the world number one on the Stadium court and was dispatched in an hour and 18 minutes as Djokovic followed up his straight-sets win over Britain’s Kyle Edmund. “It’s a normal evolution in life that sooner or later the time will come for all of us, and then we need some new faces and players that are able to lead the tennis world in the future”.
She eventually retired with an illness in the final set to hand Kerber a 1-6 6-2 3-0 win on another steamy day in south Florida.
Kei Nishikora, seeded sixth, is the second highest seed left in the tournament behind Djokovic after he eased past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-4.
Asked if he had any worries the spasms might become a long-term issue, Djokovic said: “No concerns”.
“That first set could have gone either way”, Djokovic said. “I personally feel Thiem has the potential to reach within the best five players in the World in near future”.
No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who ousted Williams, will play No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky in the other semifinal.
Djokovic improved to 26-1 this year and said he feels better about his game than at the same stage in 2015 – a year in which he won three Grand Slam titles. In the important moments I just tried to make him play, make him run. “I’m hoping I can keep the same trajectory”. “It was not easy to finish the points”, Goffin said.
“She played very well in the first set and I was not finding my rhythm at the beginning”. He won in 2014 at the French Open and Wimbledon but lost to Kyrgios a year ago at Wimbledon.