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Sports

Bacsinszky pulls off another Miami Open rally, beats Halep

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic beat 10th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet

Timea Bacsinszky, of Switzerland, returns to Simona Halep during their match at the Miami Open tennis tournament Tuesday., Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky
1 year ago

KEY BISCAYNE, Florida – Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky has been the comeback queen of this Miami Open, and is heading to the semifinals after another three-set marathon.

The 19th-seeded Bacsinszky rallied to top fifth-seeded Simona Halep of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals Tuesday, continuing her deepest run in four trips to Key Biscayne.

“It’s something amazing,” Bacsinszky said. “I’m really happy today.”

A Russian player will await her in the semis, either 15th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova or 30th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova.

Bacsinszky’s last appearance on Key Biscayne before this tournament was 2011, and she didn’t even take a set off Halep in two previous meetings. But she broke Halep for a 3-1 lead in the second set on her way to knotting the match, then took full command by getting two quick breaks for a 3-0 lead in the third.

It was the second straight win against a top-five seed for Bacsinszky, both coming after she dropped the opening set. She ousted third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the round of 16 — each of those matches lasting more than two hours. Bacsinszky’s backhand winner to end the match Tuesday came at 2:28.

With Halep out, the only top-10 seed left in the women’s draw is Germany’s Angelique Kerber, who meets American Madison Keys in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Simona Halep, of Romania, returns to Timea Bacsinszky during their match at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Simona Halep returns to Timea Bacsinszky during their match at the Miami Open tennis tournament. Photo: AP/Lynne Sladky

Bacsinszky got the break in the second set just before the match was stopped for about 10 minutes when rain began sprinkling. Players did not leave the court while ballboys used their feet to drag towels across the baselines and sidelines during the break. Play eventually resumed under an extremely dark sky.

On the men’s side, seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic needed three grueling sets to beat 10th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France and reach the quarterfinals earlier Tuesday. Berdych needed nearly 2 1/2 hours to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, with the temperature reaching the mid-80s and the humidity making it seem much warmer on the stadium court.

Berdych will face top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia or 14th-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria in the quarterfinals. Djokovic and Thiem are to play later Tuesday.

Gillies Simon easily reached the quarterfinals in the bottom of the men’s draw, needing only 58 minutes to beat fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-0, 6-1. Simon has dropped only eight games in his last five sets against Pouille.

No. 15 seed David Goffin and No. 24 Nick Kyrgios also advanced to the quarters with straight-set victories.

TIM REYNOLDS

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