Rafael Nadal beats Milas Raonic to meet Tomas Berdych in the semifinals
Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the 15th consecutive time, rallying in both sets for a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the Sony Open semifinals on Thursday.
Williams, seeking a record seventh Key Biscayne title, improved to 16-2 against Sharapova and hasn't lost to her favourite foil since 2004.
“I have always felt when I'm playing at my best, then it's hard for people to beat me,” Williams said.
On Saturday, the No. 1-ranked Williams will try for a record seventh Key Biscayne title against No. 2 Li Na, who overcame 40 unforced errors to beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Williams is 10-1 against Li.
Nadal meets Berdych in semis
Rafael Nadal could say the same. He advanced to the semifinals by hitting a flurry of forehand winners down the stretch to beat Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal, who is 0-3 in Key Biscayne finals, needs one more win to get there again. His opponent Friday night will be No. 7-seeded Tomas Berdych, who advanced by beating No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 (3). Berdych was the Key Biscayne runner-up in 2010.
Nadal has beaten Berdych 16 times in a row over the past seven years.
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will play in the other semifinal on Friday against No. 20-seeded Kei Nishikori, who eliminated Roger Federer on Wednesday.