Novak Djokovic reached the Miami semifinals on Wednesday by beating Kevin Anderson, extending his winning streak and avenging a loss two years ago to the South African in the same city.
World number two Djokovic defeated unseeded Anderson 6-4, 6-2 in a quarterfinal match at the $9-million ATP Masters 1000 hardcourt tournament.
Djokovic, who has won all of his 22 matches this season, will face American Mardy Fish in the semifinals.
Djokovic has now won 24 consecutive matches dating back to last year’s Davis Cup final.
The Serb is looking for back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. It would be his fourth title this season to go with victories in Dubai, Indian Wells and the Australian Open.
Anderson became South Africa’s first ATP winner in more than five years when he took the title in Johannesburg in February.
Anderson won their only prior meeting by beating Djokovic in three sets in the second round here three years ago.
At the time, Djokovic was ranked third in the world and Anderson was ranked 122nd.
Djokovic will be the heavy favourite against fourteenth seeded Fish who will pass Andy Roddick as the number one ranked American player when the next ATP Tour rankings come out.
Fish has had an up and down year, making two semis in Delray Beach and Memphis but losing in the second round of both the Aussie Open and Indian Wells. He lost twice this year to 20-year-old Milos Raonic of Canada in the second round at Indian Wells and the semis in Memphis.
Fish ousted an ailing David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 to reach the semifinals.
While Ferrer had plenty of praise for Fish’s strong performance on serve, he said he could not really rise to the challenge because of a stomach ailment.
“I think it’s the digestion,” Ferrer said. “I went to the court, and when I run to rallies, a lot of pain in my stomach. In the second set, I cannot run anymore.”
The victory ensures Fish will climb to at least 11th when the rankings are next released, while Roddick will fall from eighth to 14th after losing his tournament-opener last week.
“It’s very humbling,” Fish said.
In women’s play, eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka toppled defending champion and second seed Kim Clijsters to reach the semifinals.
Azarenka, of Belarus, defeated the ailing Clijsters 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first semi-final of the season.
In the semifinals she will face third-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Poland’s Agienszka Radwanska.
Belgium’s Clijsters had eight double faults and held her serve just three times in nine service games on Wednesday as she continues to be bothered by a right shoulder injury. The shoulder has troubled her since January when she won the Aussie Open.
Azarenka biggest career win came in 2009 when she captured the Key Biscayne title.
The other semifinal features Russia’s Maria Sharapova squaring off against rising German star Andrea Petrovic. — Sapa-AFP