Miami Open 2019 : There are few things that can come between Miami Open tennis fans and sun worshipping. Roger Federer is one of them.Since the tournament began last week at its new home at Hard Rock Stadium, several of the sport’s top stars played before half-empty seats inside the stadium because thousands of fans chose to pack the outer courts or the marquee matches on giant outdoor screens while dining, lounging and sunning in the expanded, stylish fan village.
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Roger Federer will face a hectic few days if he is going to win another Miami Open.
He is off to a good start.
Federer is through to the quarterfinals, having little trouble on the way to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over 13th-seeded Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday — needing only 61 minutes to prevail while committing a mere eight unforced errors. The match had been pushed back a day because of rain.
So now, to win what would be his fourth Miami title, Federer will have to prevail four times in a five-day span. Next up for the No. 4 seed is a quarterfinal Thursday against No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson — a match between the two highest seeds left on the men’s side, and the biggest test yet for Anderson since his return from an elbow issue.
“I’m feeling really good,” Federer said. “Today’s match, I can be really happy with so I hope it’s going to give me some confidence for tomorrow.”
Federer and Medvedev split the first eight games, and then things turned quickly. Federer broke Medvedev for a 5-4 lead in the first set, fought off three break points to close out the set in the next game, and got another break to open the second set. He cruised home from there.
“When you want to go deep in tournaments, sometimes you need those 15 minutes that go your way and you’re able to pull away with the score too,” Federer said of the break and then the rally from 0-40 down to serve out the opening set. “Margins are super-slim and you need a bit of help sometimes from your opponent.”
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Federer leads the head-to-head against Anderson 5-1, the loss coming last year in the Wimbledon quarterfinals — Anderson winning 13-11 in the fifth set.
“If you beat me at Wimbledon, you’ve got my attention,” Federer said.
Meanwhile, Simona Halep, the No. 2 seed in the women’s singles draw, also finished her match Wednesday with a flourish.
And a return to the world’s No. 1 ranking could be her reward.
Halep beat 18th-seeded Qiang Wang 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Halep won the final six games against Qiang and would return to No. 1 in the world if she wins her semifinal match against the fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who defeated her compatriot from the Czech Republic, the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova, 6-3, 6-4, on Wednesday.
“A match against Simona is always intense,” Pliskova said after reaching her third semifinal of 2019.
Halep said her coach told her after the quarterfinal victory that she needed just one more win here to claim the top ranking.
“It’s pretty much in my head, and I’m happy that I’m in this position again,” she said.
Halep has been No. 1 twice before, including most of 2018. She surrendered the ranking to Naomi Osaka in January, and didn’t think she would have a chance to grab it back again this quickly.
“It would mean a lot,” Halep said.
In a men’s quarterfinal match, the defending champion John Isner defeated Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5). In the semifinals, Isner will play the 18-year-old qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Borna Coric, 7-6 (3), 6-2, in the quarters.Quarter-final action continues on Thursday at the Miami Open presented by Itau. An all-#NextGenATP battle pitting Denis Shapovalov of Canada and Frances Tiafoe of the United States headlines the day session, while Roger Federer of Switzerland and South African Kevin Anderson take to Stadium Court at night.
Fourth seed Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with sixth seed Anderson 5-1, with all of those wins coming in straight-sets. However, Anderson won their most memorable match last year in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“If you beat me at Wimbledon, you’ve got my attention,” said Federer. “From that standpoint, I know what I’m about to expect tomorrow. The matches I have played against him can be extremely close just because of his sheer possibilities that he has on the serve…it will be interesting to see how it’s going to go.”