Miami | Alcaraz, Medvedev and Khachanov complete SF line-up

Rain failed to prevent the Miami Masters from completing the quarter final stage leaving the defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, a former world No.1 Daniil Medvedev and the big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov in the last four with former finalist Jannik Sinner who went through 24-hours earlier.

I knew that I had to play my game, the way that I was playing the previous matches, a high level for me. Of course, I’m very happy with the way I started the match, with no mistakes and with a lot of power. Carlos Alcacarz

Alcaraz, who won the Masters at Indian Wells 12 days ago, remains on course to become only the eighth male payer to winning the “Sunshine Double” after breezing past the American No.1 and 9th seed, Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-2.

The 19-year-old Spaniard was in no mood to let his opponent make much of an impression on the match, breaking him in the opening game and then showing off his full array of shots, his speed and touch to break him again at the start of the second. He also broke to go 5-2 up and wrapped up the win without losing a point in the final game.

The teenager finished with six aces and saved both the breakpoints he faced to secure his first win over Fritz in 78-minutes in what was their first meeting.

“A little bit of nerves at the beginning of the match. It was new for me, playing against him,” Alcaraz revealed. “I knew that I had to play my game, the way that I was playing the previous matches, a high level for me. Of course, I’m very happy with the way I started the match, with no mistakes and with a lot of power. It was a key for me to break his serve at the beginning and then [play] my game.”

It will be Alcaraz’s 17th career semi-final an his 5th at the Masters level, and 2nd at the Hard Rock Stadium. On Saturday he will renew his rivalry with Italy’s teenage prodigy, Sinner, who ousted Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in straight set in what was the only match played in the men’s singles draw as rain then washed out the remaining schedule.

Alcaraz leads the Italian 3-2 with all three victories coming on hard courts and the latest secured at Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago. Alcaraz has also won his last 10 matches without dropping a set.

“I’ve played against him in the final rounds of tournaments. That means he is playing a great level,” Alcaraz pointed out. “Of course, I am sure that we are going to play for big things in the future.”

Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Christopher Eubanks after he ended the qualifier's excellent run

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Meanwhile the player he is expected to meet in the final in a repeat of the Indian Wells title decider, Medvedev progressed past the American qualifier, Christopher Eubanks 6-3 7-5 after suffering a 30-minute rain delay at 3-2 in the first set.

The Russian former word top-ranked player, seeded 4, struck nine aces and was broken once by the qualifier before he made the last four at Miami for the first time but his 11th at Masters’ level.

“I didn’t play my best before. The rain helped me go out and have more energy,” Medvedev admitted. “It helped me and I only played better and better, apart from one bad game on my serve, but it happens.”

The 27-year-old Muscovite had been on a 19-match winning streak before he bumped into Alcaraz in Indian Wells and is keen to recover that momentum.

“I have never had such a good start to the season. A lot of matches won, tournaments won. I am really happy,” Medvedev said. “I was disappointed at Indian Wells when my streak ended on the same number as last time. The only thing you can do is begin a new streak and I am happy to bring my form into Miami.”

Eubanks was a largely unknown threat, having taken the tournament by storm this week to reach his maiden ATP 1000 quarter-final.

The 26-year-old, world ranked 119, had come through qualifying before dropping just one set in his four main-draw matches and certainly didn’t disgrace himself against the world No.5 who proved too strong and clinical, hitting nine aces and 27 winners in the 89-minute encounter.

Medvedev will face his compatriot the 14th seeded Karen Khachanov in the last four who secured his semi-final place by beating former semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 6-3 6-2 in 75-minutes.

Karen Khachanov delivers one of his big serves during his quarter final win

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In the early stages it looked as if Cerundolo would be repeating his run as he went 3-2 up in the opening set but failed to capitalise on his opportunity dropping the next two service games as Khachanov took control to finish the match with 18 winners.

“We know each other from young age,” Khachanov said of his forthcoming meeting with Medvedev in his first Miami semi-final. “We’ve been playing against each other since we were kids… we’re good friends outside, but we’re rivals on the court.”.

In that rivalry, Khachanov trails his countryman having won just once in their four previous meetings as professional players.



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