The World No. 1 kept the American at arm's length in a smooth 6-4, 6-2 victory in a Thursday night quarterfinal.
Taylor Fritz, a local favourite, put on a strong performance, but Carlos Alcaraz once again demonstrated that he is virtually unbeatable when at his best. The World No. 1 kept the American at arm’s length in a smooth 6-4, 6-2 victory in a Thursday night quarterfinal to advance in his pursuit of the Sunshine Double, a rare title sweep across Indian Wells and Miami.
Alcaraz did his damage early in both sets, seizing control with an instant break of serve in each. Alcaraz needed to defend his Miami title in order to maintain his top spot in the ATP Rankings. After the first game, Fritz was arguably the better player and had recovered well from his early deficit, but Alcaraz successfully saved two break points by half-volleying both of them to maintain his lead.
“A little bit of nerves at the beginning of the match. It was new for me, playing against him,” Alcaraz said of his first meeting with Fritz. “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.”
Alcaraz and Fritz both had a 2-0 record this season against Top 10 opposition as of Thursday. With the win, Alcaraz improved to 18-1 overall in 2023. It was his 10th straight victory. He needs two more victories to become the first person since Roger Federer in 2017 to win the championships in Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back.
Petra Kvitova made history at the Miami Open as she reached her maiden semi-final at the 13th time of asking. After defeating 18th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday in the final singles quarterfinal of the 2023 edition, Kvitova advanced to the Miami semifinals for the first time in her career. On Wednesday night, the two heavy hitters were scheduled to face off before the game was completely ruined by rain. Kvitova won the match after 2 hours and 12 minutes on a relatively dry afternoon to secure the final spot in the semifinal lineup.
“I have to say it was a tough one, for sure, especially mentally,” Kvitova said in her post-match press conference. “Ekaterina played amazing. I would say she was really striking the ball very clearly, and it was really difficult to face some serves of hers.”
“It means a lot, for sure,” Kvitova added. “It’s a big tournament. I’ve never been in the semifinal here, so it’s nice, especially when I played the quarterfinals in Indian Wells. So I’m happy that the momentum is there.” In her 99th WTA 1000 appearance, the Czech is in her 20th WTA 1000 semifinal of her career. She becomes the first left-handed player and one of just seven athletes to reach 20 or more WTA 1000 semifinals since the tier’s inception in 2009.
Kvitova saved a break point in the last game of the third set, holding for 4-3. From that point on, she fought back. Kvitova won the match by converting her second match point in the following game after she cracked a crosscourt forehand to force an error and break for 5-3. Ultimately, Kvitova’s lone extra break in the final set was the determining factor.
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