Top seed Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the Miami Open semi-finals with wins over American opponents on Thursday, while Elena Rybakina saw off world No.3 Jessica Pegula to reach the women’s final.
Taylor Fritz showed great fight but was unable to match Alcaraz’s level, the defending champion taking control with an instant break of serve in each set on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 win.
In a high-quality clash between two players who reached the quarter final without dropping a set, world No.1 Alcaraz never trailed and frustrated ninth seed Fritz with a potent mix of power, sublime shotmaking and relentless hustle.
If Alcaraz lifts the title in Miami he would become the eighth man to win the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments back-to-back, a feat known as the ‘Sunshine Double’ given their locations in California and Florida.
Earlier on Thursday, Medvedev ended the dream run of American qualifier Christopher Eubanks with an impressive 6-3 7-5 victory in a rain-interrupted match to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time.
The fourth-seeded Russian trailed 3-2 in the first set before rain stopped play but when the match resumed 30minutes later he was a man on a mission, winning the next five games and never trailed again.
Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who is seeking to become the fifth woman to back up the Indian Wells title with the Miami crown, came through two rollercoaster sets and a couple of rain delays to beat Pegula 7-6(3), 6-4 in their semi-final.
Neither player was able to settle into their serve but Moscow-born Rybakina, who now represents Kazakhstan, came out on top in a tense tie-break before edging the second set to record her 13th straight win.