April 1, 2021
Miami favourites Naomi Osaka and Daniil Medvedev both slipped to surprising defeats and left the singles tournaments wide open.
Now Ash Barty and Stefanos Tsitsipas have glorious opportunities to take the titles.
But Elina Svitolina is also on fire and she will push Barty all the way in the next big match.
There are thrills and spills galore as we soak up the sun and start to look forward to Wimbledon 2021.
British doubles pair Dan Evans and Neal Skupski produced a superb victory to reach their own semi-finals.
And Cameron Norrie had already reminded us of his potential with a sensational victory over Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the event.
That all leaves British tennis fans with the exciting prospect of plenty to cheer at Wimbledon.
The great Andy Murray will hit his stride in good time for the big one too.
Meanwhile Miami certainly hasn’t disappointed as it whets our appetite for Wimbledon.
The biggest shock came when Maria Sakkari downed Osaka. The superstar from Japan hadn’t been beaten since February 2020.
The highest earner in women’s tennis was enjoying a 23-match wining streak.
Osaka was 40-0 up in the opening game of the contest. Twenty minutes later, she had suffered a bagel.
The statuesque Greek faced 0-3 and 1-4 deficits in the second set as most people imagined the comeback had begun in earnest.
But Sakkari had saved six match points in the previous round against Jessica Pegula. She was about to show that extraordinary resilience once more.
She rattled off the next five games and demonstrated again how little it can mean when her opponent leads 40-0.
Sakkari matched Osaka’s power yet again to cut that cushion to pieces and break serve before closing out 6-0, 6-4.
Just imagine how vocal the Greek contingent will be at Wimbledon 2021!
They already have the game’s new superstar to cheer in Tsitsipas. Now Sakkari is building her own big following as one of the great new gladiators of the women’s game.
In the men’s quarter-finals, Roberto Bautista Agut was regarded as the old man of the last eight. He had at least seven years on any of the others.
But the likeable Spaniard disposed of the colourful Medvedev in dramatic style.
Bautista Agut ran out 6-4, 6-2 winner against Daniil, who had suffered chronic cramping in the previous round.
The 32-year-old former Wimbledon semi-finalist will now play a teenager in Jannik Sinner.
The Italian was so good against Alexander Bublik that his opponent claimed he wasn’t human.
So that should be a scintillating match-up as the entertainment keeps coming in Miami.
Evans and Skupski are one step from a final too.
The gutsy British pair never seemed to know when they were beaten against formidable opponents.
They seemed to be up against it when they were edged out by the power and know-how of Marcelo Arevalo and Horia Tecau in the first-set breaker.
But Evans and Skupski battled their way back and even saved a match point at the death to triumph 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 11-9.
With the courts open to the public again back home, tennis mania is sweeping Britain.
We’re cheering on our local heroes and all the world superstars too.
Wimbledon 2021 is where we can see them all in action together.
We can’t wait! Want to be there?