Cerúndulo Will Advance To The Semi-finals In Miami After Sinner Withdraws

Miami (AP) —In another chapter of amazing performance, Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo made it to the Miami Open semifinals on Wednesday after rival Jannik Sinner had to leave with blisters.

Cerundolo, who made his first appearance in the Masters 1000 tournament, was leading 4-1 in the first set when Italian thinner stopped 23 minutes later.

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Cerundolo, currently 103rd in the rankings, was 0-2 at the ATP Tour’s hardcourt event, but made his debut in the main draw in Miami, one of the most prestigious tournaments other than the four Grand Slams.

“I can’t believe it,” Cerundolo said in an interview at the foot of the field. “When I was serving 3-1 and 30/0, I noticed he was ducking. It was pretty strange. I didn’t notice anything wrong, he was fine, I hope you are a great player. “

Cerundolo is the lowest ranked tennis player in Miami’s history to reach the semifinals. The previous mark was Sebastien Grojan, who was 74th in 1999.

“This has a lot of implications,” said a 23-year-old Argentine who could be in the top 50 of the next ranking in his performance so far in Miami. “That’s what I’ve always dreamed of.”

Since 2012, tennis players have never reached the semi-finals with their debut in the Masters 1000 tournament. At that time, Jezyanovich played the semi-finals in Paris and finally advanced to the finals.

“I found my first Masters 1000, my first semifinal, and I’m almost in the top 50,” Cerundolo added in the mixed zone. “It changes everything for me.”

Cerundolo is the seventh Argentine to reach the semifinals in Miami and the first player since Juan Martin del Potro in 2018. Neither has won the championship. Guillermo Cañas, Guillermo Korea and Alberto Mancini have become finalists.

In the nightly semi-final match, 6-seeded Casper Ruud secured a semi-final match against Cerundolo and defeated the weakened Alexander Zverev (2) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

Also on Tuesday, Spain’s Paula Badosa had to withdraw due to physical problems after losing 1-4 to American Jessica Pegra in the quarterfinals.

Badosa leaves Miami with his best results in the tournament. She is also becoming third in the highest women’s rankings in her career.

The 16th seed, Pegula, will play in four duels in the tournament and will only need 5 1/2 sets to reach this point. She skipped the first round and won the next two duels in a straight set. And when Angelina Pegula retired after Pegra won her first set 6-0, her fourth round duel was over.

Then on Wednesday, Badosa retired, dragging 4-1.

“Of course, winning this way isn’t pretty,” Pegula admitted. “She was the first to meet her and she had a great year so she wanted to be able to play.”

Pegula will face world ranking leader Iga Sifion (2nd) on Monday.

Paul defeated Czech Petra Kvitova (28th) 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the women’s branch quarterfinals.

Another semi-final will take place this Thursday between Belinda Bencic (22) and Naomi Osaka.

Pegula spent nearly 3 hours and 22 minutes in court at four meetings. This is four minutes longer than it took Buffalo to beat the Miami Dolphins 35-0 at Hard Rock Stadium in September. The game Pegula knows is because his parents own Bills.

The vast Dolphins House — which will host the F1 Race again this spring — is home to the Miami Open and the course is located inside Hard Rock Stadium. The other courts were built where the parking lot was, but the track played by Pegula on Wednesday is a temporary structure above the field.

The immediate end of the duel between Pegra and Badosa means that the court was empty for almost an hour before finalist Jannik Sinner (9) played against Cerundolo in Miami last year.

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