Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nadal stops Federer, Fish out in semifinals

Rafael Nadal returns during a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Roger Federer, who struggled with Nadal’s groundstrokes, committed 31 unforced errors and got irritated at questions afterward.

Getty Images

Rafael Nadal returns during a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Roger Federer, who struggled with Nadal’s groundstrokes, committed 31 unforced errors and got irritated at questions afterward.

KEY BISCAYNE — Rafael Nadal advanced to the final at the Sony Ericsson Open by beating rival Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 on Friday.

The No. 1-ranked Nadal held every service game and converted five of six break-point chances. Nadal, seeking his first Key Biscayne title, has held in 47 of 48 service games in the tournament.

"It wasn't easy for him," Nadal said. "I played a very, very good match, very solid and serious."

Nadal's opponent Sunday (1 p.m., Ch. 10) will be No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who beat Tampa resident Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-1.

Nadal is 16-8 against Djokovic but lost when they met in the final at Indian Wells two weeks ago.

"I don't feel invincible," Djokovic said. "I don't feel that I can't lose on the court. What I feel is big confidence. What I feel is that I'm playing best tennis of my life."

"I didn't win any of the big points," said Fish, 0-for-6 on break points. "I left a lot of shots out there."

Djokovic also is dominating long rallies, another reason he has lost only 18 games in five rounds. He has won three titles this year, going 23-0 in the best start since Ivan Lendl was 25-0 in 1986.

"He's moving better than anyone right now, no doubt about it, on a hardcourt," Fish said.

Nadal vs. Federer generated the buzz of a final, with tickets shortly before the match fetching several hundred dollars. But Federer came out flat, committing four unforced errors to lose serve and fall behind 2-1.

That was part of a stretch in which Nadal won 13 of 15 points to take control.

Federer had trouble with the velocity of Nadal's groundstrokes, shanking half a dozen shots, including one to reach match point. Then Federer put a tentative forehand in the net, and it was over after 75 minutes.

Federer shanked several shots and committed 31 unforced errors to 10 for Nadal.

Nadal improved to 15-8 against Federer, who is 0-4 this year against Nadal and Djokovic and 22-0 against everyone else.

Federer bristled when asked if proving he's still a champion is a hassle.

"The bigger hassle is being asked all the time these questions," he said. "I don't know how many times I need to answer until I just say I'm not going to answer it anymore. I don't feel like I'm 35 like you guys make me sound I am. I'm still only 29, and I have many more years left."

Sharapova, Azarenka meet for title today

Three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova seeks her first Key Biscayne women's title today when she plays 2009 champion Victoria Azarenka (12:30 p.m., Ch. 10). A victory would be her biggest title since she won the 2008 Australian Open, the last of her three Grand Slams.

Two years ago, Azarenka stunned Serena Williams to win the final at Key Biscayne.

Nadal stops Federer, Fish out in semifinals 04/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter