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Miami Open: Azarenka, Djokovic roll into semis

Last updated on: March 31, 2016 09:37 IST

Victoria Azarenka

IMAGE: Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka serves against Johanna Konta of Great Britain in their quarter final match during the Miami Open. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Victoria Azarenka withstood some early pressure from Britain's Johanna Konta to continue her quest for a third Miami Open title with a 6-4, 6-2 quarter-final victory on Wednesday.

Azarenka, who 10 days ago beat Serena Williams to win the Indian Wells title in California, outsteadied the 24th-seeded Konta in the end to keep alive her bid to capture the second half of the Sunshine Double.

Konta, playing her first quarter-final of a WTA Premier event, more than held her own in a first set played in blustery conditions

Azarenka, however, rose to the occasion to fend off five break points, while Konta double-faulted twice to drop serve as the Belarusian took charge in just over 90 minutes.

"She's such a great player," eighth-ranked Azarenka, the 2009 and 2011 champion, told ESPN. "I see a lot of potential.

"I couldn't actually get a read on her serve in the beginning - it was tough for me to adjust - but then I got a bit lower and tried to get more returns in, be a bit more aggressive."

The British number one, who was ranked 151st in the world this time last year, took some satisfaction from the match.

"I'm happy with the level I was able to bring to the court," Konta, now ranked 23rd, told the BBC. "Obviously I'm disappointed that I couldn't have done a little bit better but I'm taking the positives from it."

Azarenka will face the winner of Wednesday's evening clash between American Madison Keys and second seed Angelique Kerber of Germany for a place in the final.

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images .

World No 1 Novak Djokovic rolled into the semi-finals of the Miami Open with a 6-3, 6-3 romp over Tomas Berdych as he continued his pursuit of a fifth title in six years on Key Biscayne.

Djokovic did not face the difficulty that he had in his fourth round match, when he was forced to fend off 14 of 15 break points, while he also attacked Berdych's second serve to advance to a clash with Belgium's David Goffin after 99 minutes.

Goffin beat France's Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Berdych was coming off a marathon win against Richard Gasquet on Tuesday and did not have enough left to challenge Djokovic. He won just six of his 23 second service points and was broken four times.

Djokovic improved to 26-1 this year. His only defeat came in February when he was forced to retire against Spain's Feliciano Lopez in Dubai due to an eye infection.

He has yet to drop a set in Miami, despite his issues with Austria's Dominic Thiem in the fourth round.

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