The quarterfinal round of the 2015 Miami Open is completed following action on Wednesday and Thursday. Semifinal match-ups are set and the Masters Series event in Florida could lead to a blockbuster final.
Firstly, on Wednesday, both Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych advanced to the final. Murray faced the challenge of Dominic Thiem, a player who appears poised to start challenging for a higher ranking on tour. The Scot, after dropping the first set, came back and defeated Thiem, claiming the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Berdych, in other action, enjoyed a fairly tidy win over Argentina’s Juan Monaco. The Czech No. 1 claimed his quarterfinal contest in straight sets without the need for a tiebreaker 6-3, 6-4. Berdych and Murray will now meet in the semifinals having already met this year at the Australian Open.
On the top half of the draw both Novak Djokovic and John Isner advanced on Thursday. Djokovic defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 7-5 while Isner, seeded 22nd in Miami, eliminated Kei Nishikori in what was an upset. The line score in that match was 6-4, 6-3.
Most will now be expecting a Djokovic vs. Murray final at the 2015 Miami Open however there is good reason to believe that either Berdych or Isner might spoil that blockbuster match-up.
Firstly, Berdych holds a winning record against Murray as the Czech No. 1 is 6-5 against the Scot. Secondly, Isner, who remains the only American alive in the Miami draw, has played strong tennis in the USA before.
Besides his titles from Atlanta, Newport, and Houston, Isner has played well in both Cincinnati and Indian Wells in the past. Back in 2013, Isner made the Cincy final through Djokovic and back in 2012 Isner also made the Indian Wells final – once again through Djokovic.
That the service giant plays higher than his ranking in front of a partisan American crowd is very clear: it’s almost a trademark of his tennis career. Therefore Djokovic, despite all his success so far in 2015, cannot be considered a lock against Isner, especially if the American is serving well.
The first match up on Friday will be the Murray/Berdych contest. Women’s matches will be played on stadium court as well with Djokovic and Isner set to meet in an evening affair.
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 3 APRIL 2015
STADIUM start 1:00 pm
ATP –  A. Murray (GBR) vs  T. Berdych (CZE)
ATP –  N. Djokovic (SRB) vs  J. Isner (USA)
• FINAL FOUR: The 96-man draw has been whittled down to just four players, who are all in action on Day 10. The semi-finals feature three of the world’s Top 10 players and the American No. 1:
 Andy Murray vs.  Tomas Berdych
 Novak Djokovic vs.  John Isner
Murray and Berdych last met in this year’sAustralian Open SF with the Brit prevailing in four sets. Berdych, however, leads their FedEx H2H series 6-5. Djokovic and Isner clash for the ninth time, with the Serb winning six of their previous eight contests, including the last three in a row.
• WHAT’S AT STAKE:
Djokovic is aiming to reach his 32nd ATP Masters 1000 final (21-10) & his 74th overall (50-23)
Murray is aiming to reach his 13th ATP Masters 1000 final (9-3) & his 47th overall (31-15)
Berdych is aiming to reach his fourth ATP Masters 1000 final (1-2) & his 27th overall (10-16)
Isner is aiming to reach his third ATP Masters 1000 final (0-2) & his 19th overall (9-9)
• #MARCHMASTERS: Djokovic is bidding to become the first player to complete the Indian Wells-Miami title sweep on three separate occasions. Since 1991, seven players have achieved back-to-back success at these events – Jim Courier (1991), Michael Chang (1992), Pete Sampras (1994),Marcelo Rios (1998), Andre Agassi (2001), Roger Federer (2005-06) and Djokovic (2011, ‘14). The World No. 1 is chasing a fifth Miami crown. He lifted the title in 2007 (d. Canas), 2011 (d. Nadal), 2012 (d. Murray) and 2014 (d. Nadal), and was a runner-up in 2009 (l. to Murray).
• HOME FROM HOME: Murray has the comfort of staying at his Miami home during the tournament. He is bidding to reach his fourth final here, after winning the title in 2009 (d. Djokovic) and 2013 (d. Ferrer) and finishing runner-up in 2012 (l. to Djokovic). The Brit clinched his 500th career win en route to the SF, defeating Kevin Anderson in the 4R. He became the first player from his country, the ninth active player and the 46th man in the Open Era to achieve the feat. At 27 years and 10 months, he was the 16th youngest to reach the milestone.
• BIG FOUR DOMINANCE: At the last 44 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo), the Big Four have accounted for 40 titles. The only exceptions came at Paris-Bercy in 2010 (Soderling) and 2012 (Ferrer) and last year in Monte-Carlo (Wawrinka) and Toronto (Tsonga). During that stretch, Djokovic has won 16 titles, Nadal 12, Federer 7 and Murray 5. Djokovic and Murray have combined to win six of the last eight Miami crowns and were the only former winners to start the tournament.
• CARRYING THE FLAG: Isner is the first American to reach the Miami Open SF since Mardy Fish in 2011 (l. to Djokovic). The last home player to reach the final was Andy Roddick, who won here in 2010 (d. Berdych). Isner’s win over Milos Raonic in the 4R ended an 11-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents. Prior to this week, his last Top 10 wins came in Cincinnati 2013, when he reeled off three consecutive victories over No. 10 Raonic, No. 1 Djokovic and No. 7 Del Potro before falling to Nadal in the final.
• ISNER’S SERVE: Isner is just the third player since 1991 to reach the Miami Open SF without having his serve broken, after Federer in 2002 and Djokovic in 2011. The American has fired down 60 aces in his four matches, fending off five break points in 48 service games.
• BERDYCH CLIMBING: Berdych’s 4R victory over Gael Monfils saw him take sole ownership of 43rd place on the Open Era wins list, moving him ahead of Jim Courier (506). Next in his sights is Wayne Ferreira (512). The World No. 9 is bidding to reach his fourth ATP Masters 1000 final and his first since Madrid three years ago (l. to Federer). All five of the Czech’s losses this season have come against Top 10 opposition.
DAY 10 FEDEX ATP HEAD2HEADS
 Andy Murray (GBR) vs  Tomas Berdych (CZE)
FedEx Head2Head: Berdych leads 6-5
• Murray advanced to his 22nd ATP Masters 1000 SF and his fifth in Miami, finishing strong to see off 21-year-old Dominic Thiem 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
• Murray became the first British player to hit 500 wins, beating Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the 4R. He saw off Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4 andDonald Young 6-4, 6-2 in his opening two matches.
• Murray defeated 185 different opponents from 50 different countries en route to 500 wins. Most of his victories came in the United States (139) and against French players (71). Murray has beaten six players at least 10 times:Gilles Simon (12), Roger Federer (11), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10), Marin Cilic(10), Feliciano Lopez (10) and Fernando Verdasco (10).
Murray’s Landmark Wins:
No. 1 2005 – London/Queen’s Club d. Santiago Ventura 6-1, 6-2
No. 100 2007 – St. Petersburg d. Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-3
No. 200 2009 – ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo d. Fabio Fognini 7-6, 6-4
No. 300 2010 – Barclays ATP World Tour Finals d. Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4
No. 400 2012 – Roland Garros d. Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 7-5, 6-0
No. 500 2015 – Miami d. Kevin Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
• Murray is making his 10th appearance in Miami. He has reached the final three times, winning the title in 2009 (d. Djokovic) and 2013 (d. Ferrer) and finishing runner-up in 2012 (l. to Djokovic).
• Murray is bidding to reach his 13th ATP Masters 1000 final (9-3 in finals) and 47th overall (31-15).
• Last week at Indian Wells, Murray advanced to an ATP Masters 1000 SF for the first time in two years with wins over Vasek Pospisil, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Adrian Mannarino and F. Lopez (l. to Djokovic).
• Murray’s victory over Lopez last week was the 497th match win of his career, giving him sole ownership of the British Open Era match wins record, putting him clear of Tim Henman (496).
• Murray opened his season by reaching the Australian Open final for the fourth time (l. to Djokovic). He fell to 2-6 in Grand Slam finals.
• In February, Murray lost in the QF of Rotterdam (l. to Simon) and Dubai (l. to Coric).
• In 2014, Murray finished in the Top 6 for the seventh year in a row after extending his run of winning at least one title to nine straight years. He advanced to the QF or better 15 times, winning three titles.
• Berdych advanced to his 17th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Juan Monaco. The Czech overcame Gael Monfils 6-3, 3-2 ret. in the 4R, Bernard Tomic 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-1 in the 3R after saving four MPs and teenager Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match.
• Berdych’s victory over Monfils saw him take sole ownership of 43rd place on the Open Era wins list, moving him ahead of Jim Courier (506).
• Berdych is contesting the Miami Open for the 11th time. He was a beaten finalist here in 2010 (l. to Roddick) and a semi-finalist in 2008 (l. to Nadal) and 2014 (w/o vs. Nadal).
• Berdych is bidding to reach his 27th tour-level final (10-16) and his fourth at ATP Masters 1000 level (1-2). His previous final appearances at this tournament level came in Madrid 2012 (l. to Federer), Miami 2010 (l. to Roddick) and Paris 2005 (d. Ljubicic).
• Berdych arrived in Florida after a QF defeat to Roger Federer at Indian Wells.
• Berdych finished runner-up in Doha in the opening week of the season (l. to Ferrer) before putting together a SF run at the Australian Open, where he defeated world No. 3 Nadal in the QF, ending a 17-match losing streak against the Spaniard (l. to Murray).
• In February, Berdych advanced to the final in Rotterdam (l. to Wawrinka in 3 sets) and the semi-final in Dubai (l. to Djokovic in 3 sets).
• All five of Berdych’s losses this season have come against Top 10 opposition.
• In 2014, Berdych finished in the Top 10 for the fifth year in a row, winning two titles – Rotterdam and Stockholm – in a career-best five finals.
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs  John Isner (USA)
FedEx Head2Head: Djokovic leads 6-2
• Djokovic advanced to his sixth Miami SF with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win over David Ferrer, extending his winning streak against the Spaniard to eight matches.
• Djokovic defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-0 in the 4R, Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5 in the 3R and Martin Klizan 6-0, 5-7, 6-1 in his opening match.
• Djokovic is back at the Miami Open for the 10th time. He is a four-time champion, winning the title in 2007 (d. Canas), 2011 (d. Nadal), 2012 (d. Murray) and 2014 (d. Nadal). He finished runner-up in 2009 (l. to Murray). The Serb’s last loss in Miami came against Tommy Haas in the 4R in 2013.
• Djokovic is bidding to reach his sixth final in Miami (4-1 in finals), his 32nd ATP Masters 1000 final (21-10) and his 74th overall (50-23). On the five previous occasions he has reached the QF here, he has gone on to reach the final each time.
• Djokovic is chasing a 22nd ATP Masters 1000 title this week. He is third in all-time titles won at this tournament level, behind Rafael Nadal (27) andRoger Federer (23).
• Djokovic clinched a fourth Indian Wells title last Sunday, bringing his career haul to 21 ATP Masters 1000 crowns and 50 titles overall. He became the 11th player in the Open Era to win 50 titles, surpassing Rod Laver and coach Boris Becker, who both finished their careers on 49.
• In early March, Djokovic helped Serbia reach the Davis Cup World Group QF with victory over Croatia. He beat Mate Delic before teaming up withNenad Zimonjic to clinch the doubles points.
• In January, Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to win fiveAustralian Open titles, defeating Murray in the final. It was his eighth Grand Slam crown, putting him level with Agassi, Connors, Lendl, Perry and Rosewall in eighth place on the all-time list for most major titles.
• Djokovic also reached the Dubai final in February (l. to Federer in final).
• This is Djokovic’s 140th week at world No. 1. On Monday, he will tie Nadal for the sixth-most weeks at the summit of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since Aug 23, 1973). Federer leads the way with 302 weeks spent at the top.
• In 2014, Djokovic finished the season at No. 1 for the third time in four years, winning an ATP World Tour-high seven titles in eight finals. His season was highlighted by capturing a second Wimbledon crown, four ATP Masters 1000 titles and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
• Isner clinched a second Top 10 win in succession, overcoming World No. 5 Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3 in 71 minutes to reach his first Miami SF. It was his second ever win over a Top 10 opponent without facing a break point. The other came against No. 9 Gael Monfils at Indian Wells in 2009.
• Isner defeated World No. 6 Milos Raonic 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in the 4R, No. 9 seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(2), 6-2 in the 3R – the 250th win of his career – and junior world No. 1 Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 in his opening match.
• Isner is yet to have his serve broken this tournament, fending off five BPs in 48 service games. He is six for 10 on BP opportunities of his own. He also wasn’t broken in doubles this week (23 of 23).
• This is only the third time since 1991 a player has reached the Miami SF without being broken, after Federer in 2002 and Djokovic in 2011.
• Isner now has a 16-35 record against Top 10 opposition. He came into this tournament on an 11-match losing streak against the Top 10.
• Isner is the first American man to reach the SF here since Mardy Fish in 2011 (l. to Djokovic). The last home player to win the tournament was Andy Roddick in 2010.
• Isner is making his eighth appearance in Miami and this is his first visit to the SF. Prior to this year, he had reached the 4R twice, in 2011 (l. to Anderson) and 2014 (l. to Berdych).
• Isner improved to 6-0 in ATP Masters 1000 QFs with his win over Nishikori. He is bidding to reach his third final at this tournament level and 19th overall (9-9). His two previous final appearances at ATP Masters 1000 events came at Indian Wells in 2012 (d. No. 1 Djokovic in SF; l. to Federer) and Cincinnati 2013 (d. No. 10 Raonic, No. 1 Djokovic, No. 7 Del Potro; l. to Nadal).
• Isner arrived in Florida off the back of a 4R loss to Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells.
• Isner went into Indian Wells on a four-match losing streak having fallen in the Memphis QF (l. to Querrey), the 1R at Delray Beach (l. to Matosevic) and in both his singles rubbers at Davis Cup (l. to Ward 15-13 in the 5th, Murray).
• Isner ended 2014 as the top-ranked American for the third straight season, finishing in the Top 20 for the fifth year in a row. He won two titles in Auckland (d. Lu) and Atlanta (d. Sela).