QF Preview: Alcaraz & Fritz Clash, Sinner Faces Ruusuvuori

  • Posted: Mar 28, 2023

QF Preview: Alcaraz & Fritz Clash, Sinner Faces Ruusuvuori

Alcaraz chases 10th straight win

The first two semi-final spots at the Miami Open presented by Itau are up for grabs on Wednesday in South Florida.

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz will continue his quest for the ‘Sunshine Double’ against American Taylor Fritz, while Jannik Sinner aims to reach consecutive ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals when he takes on Emil Ruusuvuori.

ATPTour.com previews the quarter-final matchups from the top half of the draw in South Florida.

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[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [9] Taylor Fritz (USA)

After winning his third ATP Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells earlier this month, Alcaraz has quickly adjusted to the faster conditions in Miami, defeating Facundo Bagnis, Dusan Lajovic and Tommy Paul to reach the last eight.

Chasing his 10th consecutive win, the Spaniard will look to maintain his level and overcome Top 10 star Fritz. The American is no stranger to the big stage, having lifted the trophy in Indian Wells last year. Chasing his sixth tour-level title this week, he produced a ruthless performance against Holger Rune to advance to the quarter-finals in Miami for the first time.

Possessing a thunderous serve and a destructive forehand, the 25-year-old will need both to fire if he is to breach the Alcaraz defence in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

“The serve is always the most important thing. If I’m not serving well, then I’m getting broke and under a lot of pressure on my serve, it’s tough,” said Fritz, who has not dropped a set this fortnight. “Serving well, it just frees up the rest of my game, because I feel like it’s okay if I take chances, miss shots, go for a little bit more because I know I’m going to be getting free points on my serve.”

Alcaraz demonstrated great agility during his fourth-round match against Paul, scampering down every ball to stay in points before using his explosive groundstrokes and deft drop shot to turn the tables. The Spaniard is hopeful he can hit the same heights against Fritz.

“I played a really great match [against Paul] and I hope to play the same level in the quarter-final,” Alcaraz said. “I moved well and defended well and I counter-attacked and I think if I play at that same level, I will have a lot of chances to get through.”

Fritz, who would rise to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings if he lifts his second ATP Masters 1000 crown on Sunday, is relishing the challenge the 19-year-old possesses.

“I am really excited for it,” Fritz said. “I think that a lot of people, a lot of people are really excited for that too. We have never played each other. I think it’s an interesting matchup. Obviously he’s playing great lately, and he had some injuries but hasn’t missed a beat. He’s been just on fire.”

Defending champion Alcaraz is aiming to become the youngest player to win the ‘Sunshine Double’. If the Spaniard can defeat Fritz and then go all the way, he will also remain at No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Any slip up, however, and Novak Djokovic will return to the top.


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[10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs. Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN)

Sinner has produced his best level in Miami throughout his career. The 21-year-old soared to his first ATP Masters 1000 final on tournament debut in South Florida in 2021, before he advanced to the quarter-finals last season.

The Italian has once again looked comfortable at the hard-court event this year, dispatching Laslo Djere, Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev in straight sets. Next in the firing line is Ruusuvuori, who is an opponent Sinner has a stranglehold over.

The 10th seed leads the Finn 4-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, and will be aiming for a Miami hat-trick on Wednesday after defeating Ruusuvuori in South Florida in 2021 and 2022. Sinner overpowered the 23-year-old with his flat and aggressive groundstrokes in their previous meetings and will be confident he can do so once again as he chases his eighth win in nine matches.

Ruusuvuori enters his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final off the back of an epic three-set win against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp. The 23-year-old reached the third round in Indian Wells earlier this month and has built on that run in Miami, defeating Nuno Borges, Roberto Bautista Agut and Taro Daniel at the hard-court event.

Up 17 spots to No. 37 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, the Finn will move to the brink of the Top 30 if he can continue his dream run on Wednesday.

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In Doubles Action…

The doubles quarter-final action also starts on Wednesday, when top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski face Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Dutch-British pair reached the final in Miami last year and will be aiming to go one step further this week as they chase their first title of the season.

The other quarter-final pits fifth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara against Americans Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow. Glasspool and Heliovaara, who won the title in Adelaide earlier this year, are making their team debut in Miami this week.

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