Terrific Tuesday sets men’s quarters; Azarenka and Rybakina into semifinals


by Daniel Perisse

Top seeds Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Daniil Medvedev were among the winners on Terrific Tuesday at the Miami Open, which determined all eight men’s singles quarterfinalists and the first women’s singles semifinalists: three-time champion Victoria Azarenka and 2023 runner-up Elena Rybakina.

At the Stadium, Daniil Medvedev overcame Dominik Koepfer 7-6(5), 6-1, and obtained the 350th victory of his career. The first set went to a tiebreaker and the German had a 4-1 lead, but the World No. 4 ended up taking it 7-5, in exactly one hour.

Frustrated, Koepfer did not keep up the same level in the second set. Medvedev took advantage and broke his serve three times to clinch the victory.

“When you play someone with a lower ranking than you, many times you know they can play well. But you also try to show him that if he wants to win this match, like today, even if he loses the first set, he has to go for it non-stop play, as he played in the first set, for two sets minimum, or maybe longer. That consistency sometimes is not easy and that’s how sometimes Top 10 players can win this type of match”, commented Medvedev about the ups and downs today.

On his quest to defend the Miami Open title – something he has never done, having won 20 trophies in different cities –, Medvedev plays Nicolas Jarry next. The Chilean upset Norwegian Casper Ruud, the seventh seed, 7-6(3), 6-3 in a packed Grandstand. The No. 22 seed ended with eight aces and won 88% of points on his first 1st serve.

“He’s very strong on the court. He doesn’t miss so you can overjudge yourself too much. You have to try to give your best at every point. And yeah, he knocks everybody down. Everybody. He makes the other player desperate on the court, so you have to be stable and calm,” commented Jarry about facing the third seed here in Miami.

This is Jarry’s second Masters 1000 quarterfinal – the first one was in Shanghai last year. Also, it was his second time defeating a Top 10 player in 2024, as he took down Carlos Alcaraz (World No.2) in Buenos Aires in February.

Medvedev and Jarry play tomorrow, March 27th, on Stadium, not before 8:30 pm.

Tomas Machac continues the best run of his career. Today he defeated Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi on Grandstand 6-3, 6-3, and advanced to his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

The 23-year-old had already beaten the fifth seed, Andrey Rublev, in the second round, and in the third took down two-time champion and former World No. 1 Andy Murray in three sets. The Czech will rise to the Top 50 for the first time in his career.

“I just started to play well from the beginning and started to believe in myself a little bit more, especially after the win against Rublev. So, I need to believe in myself, that I can be important, and sometimes I can achieve greater results,” commented the 23-year-old. Machac now plays another Italian for the semifinal berth: Jannik Sinner. Today the Italian crushed Australia’s Christopher O’Donnell, 6-4, 6-3, in almost 2 hours, to reach his fourth consecutive Miami Open quarterfinal.

“He started well, and I went down a break very soon, so it was tough also mentally. But you have to accept these kinds of challenges. I was looking forward to those. Back in 2021, we are in 2024, you know, three years nearly, so, you know, especially when you are younger and you come to the tour and everything was quite new for me,” explained the Miami Open second seed.

Sinner and Machac play tomorrow at the Stadium, not before 3 pm.

Less than 24 hours after defeating Gael Monfils in the third round, Carlos Alcaraz returned to the stadium to play against Italian Lorenzo Musetti, the No. 23 seed, and won 6-3, 6-3.

Alcaraz clinched the first set after breaking Musetti’s serve twice, in the first and the ninth game. He did the same in the second set but in the sixth and eighth games.

“Well, I’m happy with that performance that I did today. I think it was a complete match from my side. You know, I can get many things from this match. I think I solved well the problems that I had. You know, I was adamant during the rallies. I knew what I had to do during the important moments as well,” exclaimed Alcaraz, who wrote to the camera lens “Miami vibes is crazy” after the match.

The 2022 champion is on a nine-match winning streak, still aiming to become the first player since Roger Federer in 2017 to capture titles at Indian Wells and Miami in the same season.

Next up for Alcaraz is veteran Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted Polish Hubert Hurkacz, the 2021 Miami Open champion and eighth seed, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

The 32-year-old Bulgarian obtained his second win over a Top -10 player this season: the first had been against No.8 Rune in the Brisbane final.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev from Germany also clinched a quarterfinal spot after defeating Karen Khachanov, the No. 15 seed, 6-1, 6-4, in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Besides advancing to Indian Wells and Miami quarterfinals in the same season for the first time in his career, Zverev earned today the 250th hard-court win of his career (250-115).

His opponent will be Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan, who upset another Top-10 player this Tuesday: Ninth seed Alex de Minaur from Australia, who lost 6-4, 0-6, 6-1. He will play his second Masters 1000 quarterfinal – the first one was last year, in Shanghai.

In the third round, the unseeded Hungarian had beaten Danish Holger Rune, the sixth seed, 6-1, 6-1. He is now 4-1 against Top-10 players in his career.

In the women’s singles draw, two quarterfinals were played today. In the first one, three-time Miami Open champion Azarenka topped Yulia Putintseva 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 55 minutes to return to the semifinals for the first time since 2018.

Azarenka had to save three set points when Putintseva served at 5-4 and had her chances to secure the lead at 6-5, but they had to play a tie-break, in which the 34-year-old prevailed 7-4.

“That 5-4 game was important to kind of hold. I was facing a few set points. I felt like I held strong there, especially mentally, to try just to continue to give myself another opportunity. The tie-break was, I felt like in tiebreak I really took control and I was playing aggressively,” she explained.

The Kazakh leveled the match at 6-1 and forced a third set, just like in the previous two matches between them.

However, it was Azarenka who went off to a better start by breaking Putintseva’s serve in the third game and holding hers up next, which gave her a 4-1 lead. Her opponent could not do much after that and she clinched the victory.

“(I’m) excited. Very happy with today’s win. Yeah, it’s good to be back in the later stages of the tournament, it’s what I work for, so yeah, definitely very happy to go through,” she commented.

Her opponent in the semifinal will be Elena Rybakina. The 2023 Miami Open runner-up overcame Greece’s Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4 in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

With today’s result, Rybakina, the fourth seed in Miami, reached 21 wins in 2024, the second-best mark this season – only one behind Iga Swiatek.

The Kazakh had a 4-2 lead in the first set and struggled to clinch it 7-5, and lost two match points in the tenth game of the second set. Sakkari, the No.8 seed, forced a third set but failed in trying to reach the Miami Open semifinal for the second time in her career.

“Reaching the semifinal means a lot. I didn’t expect this when I was coming to this tournament. I was not that prepared, I was just going match by match, so for me, it is already a great result no matter how I do in the semifinal. I’ll try to recover to show good tennis,” commented Rybakina.

The other two women’s singles quarterfinals are scheduled for tomorrow. Opening the Stadium slate, at 1 pm, Caroline Garcia from France, the No. 23 seed, takes on Danielle Collins, one of the two remaining Americans in the draw.

The St. Petersburg, Fla. native won all three previous clashes.

“I just want to be focused on my game, what I can do, and at the end try my best and walk out of the court proud of the effort,” said Garcia, who ousted World No. 3 Coco Gauff in the last round.

Jessica Pegula takes on Ekaterina Alexandrova, who upset World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the Round of 16. The Buffalo, N.Y. native is the fifth seed and comes from taking out Emma Navarro, also from the US.

Pegula has reached the Miami Open semifinal in 2022 and 2023, while Alexandrova reached the same quarterfinals last year.

Check the Miami Open website for more information about the order of play and the draws.