Miami Open Masters 2019 Results: Roger Federer Advances, Simona Halep EliminatedMarch 29, 2019
Two finals berths were on the line Thursday in the 2019 Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
In the women's singles draw, 12th-seeded Ashleigh Barty took on 21st-seeded Anett Kontaveit in one semifinal, while No. 2 Simona Halep met No. 5 Karolina Pliskova in the other.
On the men's side, the quarterfinals were drawing to a close, though John Isner and Felix Auger-Aliassime had already booked their places in the next round. Frances Tiafoe was trying to make it two Americans in the semifinals by beating Denis Shapovalov, while Kevin Anderson was looking to topple Roger Federer.
Here's a look at the scores from Thursday and a recap of the action.
2019 Miami Open Results—March 28
No. 4 Roger Federer def. No. 6 Kevin Anderson, 6-0, 6-4
No. 20 Denis Shapovalov def. No. 28 Frances Tiafoe, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2
No. 12 Ashleigh Barty def. No. 21 Anett Kontaveit, 6-3, 6-3
No. 5 Karolina Pliskova def. No. 2 Simona Halep, 7-5, 6-1
Federer made quick work of Anderson in the first set of what proved to be a straight-sets victory. The three-time Miami Open champion shut out the South African before a more tightly contested second set.
The result continued what has been a general string of dominance for Federer. Entering the Miami Open, he was 5-1 against Anderson and had dropped three of 15 sets. All three came in Anderson's lone victory—a marathon match during the 2018 Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Anderson's heavy serve has fueled much of his success on the ATP Tour. However, Federer is too complete a player to come undone against an opponent who relies largely on one weapon. This point from the first set illustrated how Federer was ready for whatever Anderson would throw at him:
Tiafoe jumped out to a one-set lead over Shapovalov but fell apart over the remainder of the match.
The 21-year-old American took four games in the second set—a number that is somewhat deceiving without context. Shapovalov lost the opening game and then reeled off five straight games to go ahead 5-1.
Tiafoe did well to come back and make the second set interesting but couldn't finish the job. He then lost serve in the third game of the final set and was unable to mount much opposition.
Barty outlasted not only Kontaveit but also Mother Nature as rain forced multiple delays during their match.
"Obviously the weather is something that we can't control, and a little bit frustrating that a couple of times we got on, it was a pretty quick shower straightaway," she said, per the WTA's official site. "You just have to try and sit back and kind of make the most of the time you have off the court and know that once you do get back on you have to switch on straightaway."
Kontaveit was unable to make any sort of dent in Barty's serve. Barty won 83 percent of her first serves and saved 71 percent of her opponent's break-point opportunities.
Rain was a factor in the other semifinal, as well. Lengthy delays in the first and second sets pushed Pliskova and Halep into the early hours of Friday morning, and Pliskova wrapped up her victory a little after 1 a.m. ET.
Pliskova was serving with the score tied at three games apiece when rain forced the players back to the locker room. When they returned, Halep immediately took control and went ahead 5-3. Undaunted by her deficit, Pliskova won four straight games to close out the set.
The Australian Open semifinalist displayed some great defensive tennis to stay in what proved to be the final point of the set. She forced Halep to come in with an expertly placed drop shot and then knocked a winner into a wide-open court:
Losing such a hard-fought set appeared to take something out of Halep as she quickly fell behind 0-5 in the second frame before another rain delay forced a stoppage in play. The delay came far too late to provide any sort of lift or opportunity for her to reset.
The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg noted Halep's loss guarantees Naomi Osaka will remain the No. 1 player in the world after the Miami Open.
The full tournament draws (men's singles and women's singles) and order of play are available on the Miami Open's official site.