Miami Masters: Novak Djokovic shock opens No 2 door for Andy Murray

 

Andy Murray knows he still has to win his next three matches to become the world No 2 but he has been handed an outstanding opportunity to overtake Roger Federer in the rankings this weekend.

Novak Djokovic’s unlikely defeat to the veteran Tommy Haas in the fourth round of the Miami Masters leaves Murray as the clear favourite to claim the title in Florida for the first time since 2009.

Djokovic had been attempting to win the tournament for the third year in succession but was stunned by the  34-year-old Haas, who won 6-2, 6-4. Murray, meanwhile, maintained his record of not dropping a set at this year’s tournament when he beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4. In the quarter-finals Murray faces Marin Cilic, who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-6.

While Djokovic still has a big lead at the top of the world rankings, the last fortnight has seen the 25-year-old Serb suffer two setbacks. His defeat to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals at Indian Wells was his first since last October, though in terms of a surprise that was nothing compared with his 80-minute thrashing by Haas.

Djokovic’s first straight-sets defeat for more than seven months came against an opponent who last beat a player ranked No 1 in the world 14 years ago. Haas, who will be 35 next week, reached a career-high No 2 in the rankings in 2002, but the current world  No 18 has suffered injuries throughout his career. Following hip surgery in 2010, he did not return to the world’s top 200 until early last year.

Haas, who was meeting Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals last night, settled quickly into the chilly conditions, while Djokovic struggled in what he described as “definitely the worst match I have played in a long time”. Djokovic added: “He played a great match and he was the better player, no question about it.”

Murray took control against Seppi from the start. The Scot, who was world No 2 for four weeks in the summer of 2009, did not look at his best in Indian Wells, which was his first tournament since the Australian Open, but feels particularly at home in Miami, his warm-weather training base.

“I practise on that court all the time,” Murray said. “This is where I go through a lot of my tough on-court training sessions, so I would say that here is the court that I feel most comfortable on just because I train on it all the time.”

Murray, who is chasing his first Masters Series title for 17 months, has won seven of his eight previous meetings with Cilic, most recently at Wimbledon and the US Open last year. The 24-year-old Croat has already won a title this year, in Zagreb, and after a comparatively lean spell is back up to No 11 in the world rankings.

Serena Williams kept up her attempt to win the Miami title for the sixth time with a battling 6-3, 7-6 victory over Li Na. She now meets Agnieszka Radwanska, who needed three sets for the third round in succession before beating Kirsten Flipkens 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat