Carlos Alcaraz had his toughest match of the week in Miami but the Spaniard earned revenge over Tommy Paul in straight sets to reach the last eight. It’s now 17 wins for the season for the world number one as his all-round game keeps getting better with each passing week as he continues to extend the gap ahead of the rest of the field. Alcaraz is showing no signs of pressure despite having his first Masters 1000 title defence and now the 19 year-old is looking to reach another Masters 1000 semi-final.
The next obstacle for Alcaraz is fellow Masters 1000 champion Taylor Fritz who continues his impressive last year. After failing to defend his title at Indian Wells, the American has bounced back well in Florida overcoming a strong performance from Holger Rune to reach the quarter-finals. Fritz’s serve and forehand keeps improving as he continues to make it tough for his opponents to grind errors from his game. Now the ninth seed looks for his second Masters 1000 title of his career.
Fritz will need to serve really well especially on the first serve if he wants to neutralise Alcaraz’s aggressive returning. The Spaniard will look to keep Fritz moving as he looks to maintain control of the baseline and get the first strike in the key rallies. This will be a tough match for Alcaraz given how aggressive Fritz is hitting the ball on the forehand however the Spaniard should overcome an early set scare to maintain his impressive start to the season and reach his second consecutive Miami Open semi-final.
Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.
Aryna Sabalenka  v Sorana Cirstea H2H & Match Fundamentals
Aryna Sabalenka is in the best form of her career and the Australian Open champion continued her dominance by only dropping five games against Barbora Krejcikova to reach the last eight. It’s now 20 wins for the season for Sabalenka who has controlled her erratic and inconsistent serving as well as her emotions to become a reliable contender for the main trophies on the tour. Now the second seed will hope to narrow the gap on Iga Swiatek at the top of the WTA rankings with her fourth semi-final of the season.
Standing in Sabalenka’s way in the last eight is Sorana Cirstea who is into her second consecutive WTA 1000 quarter-final after reaching the last eight at Indian Wells. The Romanian has been on great form in recent weeks and is yet to drop a set this week with wins over Caroline Garcia, Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova. Now Cirstea looks to elevate her aggressive baseline game and use her confidence to reach the last four in Miami.
Sabalenka will look to continue to serve well and dictate play from the baseline using her forehand. Meanwhile Cirstea will look to continue to be efficient on return as much as possible, using her backhand to dictate the rhythm of the match. This should be a great match between two in-form players but just like when she played Swiatek in California, Cirstea will fall short as Sabalenka’s overall power, consistency and quality should prove too much.
Prediction: Sabalenka in straight sets.
Jannik Sinner  v Emil Ruusuvuori H2H & Match Fundamentals
It’s been an impressive start to the season for Jannik Sinner as the Italian backed up his semi-final performance at Indian Wells by reaching the last eight in Miami. Sinner has yet to drop a set after victories over Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev with Sinner elevating his overall game to new heights this year. Now Sinner will look to continue his consistent form this season as the Italian aims to become a regular Grand Slam contender this season.
Next for Sinner is surprise quarter-finalist Emil Ruusuvuori who edged past Botic Van De Zandschulp in an erratic match to reach the last eight in Miami. Ruusuvuori has had potential to do well on the tour for some time with his game being compared to Sinner’s in the past. Ruusuvuori has a big serve and a consistently powerful backhand that allows him to dictate points from the baseline effectively. Now Ruusuvuori looks for his Masters 1000 semi-final of his career.
Both players will look to use their power early on with Sinner’s forehand looking to take on Ruusuvuori’s backhand. The world number 54 will need to be more consistent than he was in his fourth round otherwise this could be a rather one side affair. This match does tactically suit Sinner and the Italian’s variety should see him through this match despite Ruusuvuori’s fearlessness.
Prediction: Sinner in straight sets.
Petra Kvitova  v Ekaterina Alexandrova  H2H & Match Fundamentals
There are strong signs that Petra Kvitova could be well and truly back with the 15th seed reaching back-to-back WTA 1000 quarter-finals. After reaching the last eight at Indian Wells, Kvitova has beaten the likes of Donna Vekic and Varvara Gracheva to reach the quarter-finals in Miami without dropping a set. Kvitova will look to continue her confident serving and big hitting as she looks to reach the semi-finals and rack up more ranking points.
Next for Kvitova is Ekaterina Alexandrova who has bounced back from an opening round exit at Indian Wells in style by reaching the last eight in Miami. Alexandrova’s form over the last year has gone under the radar but the world number 18 always seems to reach the latter stages of big tournaments with her aggressive yet consistent style of play. Alexandrova now has her sights set on a WTA 1000 semi-final as she looks to make a statement win ahead of the clay court season.
Kvitova will look to serve well and accurately, setting up short balls to hit powerful winners into the open space. Meanwhile Alexandrova looks to play on the counter-attack as she looks to use deep defensive shots to set up aggressive patterns of play. This will be a really tough match for Kvitova but if she can keep up her confident hitting on the forehand side then she should have the experience to edge through an awkward quarter-final match.
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