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Old rivals to raise mercury in Miami

sports Updated: Apr 01, 2011 23:04 IST

Agencies
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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will meet in the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open after the old rivals advanced to the last four in contrasting fashions on Thursday.

The pair have not met on US soil since Federer's win at Miami over the Spaniard five years ago, despite meeting 20 times in the years that have followed.

Federer, who is down 14-8 in meetings between the pair, said he expected a classic.

Federer was gifted his spot after Gilles Simon retired with a stiff neck six minutes into their match, while world number one Nadal battled to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych in a two hour, 17 minutes match under the lights on a balmy night in South Florida.

Sharapova, Azarenka set up summit clash
Russia's Maria Sharapova broke into the final of the event after defeating Germany's Andrea Petkovic. The Russian beat the 21st seed German 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.

In another semifinal match, eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Russian third seed Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3 to set up the final date with Sharapova.

Paes, Bhupathi reach final
Third seeds Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi saved a match point en route a hard-fought three-set win over Oliver Marach and Janko Tipsarevic to book a berth in the Miami final on Friday.

The third-seeded Indian pair won 6-3,5-7, 11-9 to set up a clash with second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, who defeated fourth seeded Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner 6-4, 6-1 in their semifinal match.

The final is a rematch of the semifinal clash at the Australian Open, in which Paes and Bhupathi were triumphant in three grinding sets.