Williams crashes out in Miami, Petkovic through

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Venus Williams is eliminated in the quarter-final stage of the Miami Open after suffering defeat at the hands of 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, while Andrea Petkovic beats Karolina Pliskova to advance to the semi-finals.


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Miami Open: Novak Djokovic storms back to reach quarter-finals

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Comeback: Novak Djokovic edged Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Miami Open.

Desperate Novak Djokovic fought back from a set and a break down to defeat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-0 Tuesday, salvaging hopes of defending his Miami Open title.

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World number one Djokovic won 24 of the last 27 points to reach a quarter-final against Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 winner over Frenchman Gilles Simon at the ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament.

Ukraine challenger Dolgopolov was unable to stretch his lead to a double break in the second set, Djokovic saving two break points in the fourth game.

“I was really frustrated,” Djokovic said.

“I was trying to calm myself down, because inside there was a big fire. You could see a little bit of that in the first set.

“Just try to get to the state of mind where I have a serene, controlled mind and emotions and where I’m able to just be in the present moment. That’s where I was focusing on.”

The Serbian top seed turned the match on its head in a 22-minute final set in which he could do no wrong, sustaining his chance for a US double after his Indian Wells final victory over Roger Federer.

Dolgopolov began breaking down in the third set after getting blisters on both feet taped. Near the end he was clasping at his thighs with cramps as he went down to defeat.

“It wasn’t my kind of a day,” Djokovic said. “Just on the warmup the entire day was one of those days where you don’t feel so great mentally.

“But I fought my way through. I was just trying to find a way to come back in the match. He was playing well. He has a very unorthodox game, tricky opponent, mixes up the pace, and can easily get you out of the rhythm.”

Britain’s Andy Murray won his 500th career victory, defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The third-seeded Scotsman, who holds two Grand Slam titles, needed his best effort against his 17th-ranked rival.

Murray, who has won four of five matches against Anderson, improved his career match record to 500 triumphs and 155 defeats with 31 titles, including the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon crowns.

“I hope I’ve still got a lot more wins in me,” Murray said.

“To get to 500 is good. It’s not an easy thing to do at my age. It’s nice. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Murray is the first British man, the ninth active player and the 46th man in the post-1968 Open Era to achieve the 500-win plateau.

“There have not been loads of players that have done it. It’s nice for me the fact that it happened here as well,” said Murray, who trains in Miami in the off-season. “It’s just fitting just because I have spent so much time training here and working to get better and to improve. That was nice.”

Next up for Murray will be Austrian Dominic Thiem, who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5.

“He had his best year on the tour last year. He’s a very talented guy. He’s strong,” said Murray. “I know him fairly well and practice with him quite a bit. I expect tomorrow will be a tough match.”   

Japan’s fourth seed Kei Nishikori beat Belgian David Goffin 6-1, 6-2 with Nishikori set to move to a career-best fourth in the world, sending Rafael Nadal to fifth.

“I feel a lot of confidence. It’s really going well these three matches,” Nishikori said. “It’s tough to compare, but maybe I have been playing a little better than last year.”

Next up for Nishikori will be American John Isner, who won a big-serve duel with Canada’s fifth-seeded Milos Raonic over two and three quarter hours. Isner’s 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5) triumph featured a combined 35 aces but no service breaks.

Another quarter-final was set as Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych advanced thanks to a mid-match withdrawal from France’s injury-hit Gael Monfils.

Berdych won 6-3, 3-2 when his opponent stopped a game after falling heavily on his right hip. Monfils has now withdrawn 15 times in his career.

Berdych will play Argentina’s Juan Monaco, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Fernando Verdasco. Monaco will be playing in the last eight at the ATP Masters level for the first time in three years.

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Serena and Venus Williams march on in Miami Masters

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Home court advantage: Venus.

Venus Williams booked the first women’s quarter-final spot at the ATP and WTA tournament in Miami yesterday as she beat fourth seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 7-6 (7-1).

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The 34-year-old Williams is playing her home event for the 16th time and owns three titles there. The American took the win despite 37 unforced errors in a match riddled with a dozen breaks of serve.

Williams, who is now 7-0 against Wozniacki will next face Spanish No12 seed Carla Suarez Navarro. The other Williams sister, world No1 Serena, caught up with her elder sibling in the quarters with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russian two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

In the men’s competition, Kei Nishikori took just over an hour to romp to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Serbian Viktor Troicki and secure a place in the fourth round.

Asia’s top player will next play Belgium’s David Goffin, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz. Nishikori sent down five aces, 16 winners and broke Troicki, ranked 39 in the world, on five of six break points in a truly dominant performance.

The 25-year-old, who reached his first grand slam final last year the US Open where he lost to Marin Cilic, beat David Ferrer and Roger Federer on his way to the Miami semis last year only to withdraw prior to his match with Novak Djokovic due to a groin injury

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