Suatek will face Osaka in the final of the Miami Open

Miami Gardens, Fla. – Naomi Osaka’s eyes fill with tears when her match is over, a scene very familiar to her in recent years.

This was the happy diversity.

For the former World No. 1, this is a big breakthrough.

Unbeaten Osaka defeated No. 22 Belinda Bensic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Miami Open on Thursday. He is taking part in a championship match for the first time since the 2021 Australian Open and will face No. 2 Iga Suatek on Saturday for the title.

Osaka said after his match, “Damn, I’m almost crying.”

Maybe not. Following the final point she hid her face with an orange towel a few times, at least one tear clearly coming down her right cheek. Osaka is ranked 77th in the world in this tournament, will not leave Miami bad from 36th and will return to the top 30 if they win the title.

It has been a long, trying and often emotional journey for Osaka since winning the final of the 2018 US Open against Serena Williams. He was shocked after an insulting shout from a spectator during a loss in Indian Wells on 12 March, withdrew from last year’s French Open to address his mental condition and cried out at last year’s US Open.

But in South Florida, one of the places he thinks is home, he gets all the support from fans.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Osaka said in their court interview.

Sweettech defeated Jessica Pegula 6-2, 7-5 in the other women’s semifinals on Thursday night – replacing the now retired Ashley Bertie as the world’s number one ranked female player next week.

Meanwhile, Daniel Medvedev has emerged as the world’s No. 2 ranked male player in the tournament. Hubert Hurkaz has confirmed that he will be there.

Hurkaj – No. 8 pick and defending Miami champion – defeated top-seeded and cramped Medvedev 7-6 (7), 6-3 in the men’s quarterfinals on Thursday.

“Every muscle has just become ‘cramps, cramps, cramps, cramps,'” Medvedev said.

If Medvedev had won, he would have overtaken Novak Djokovic on Monday to return to number one in the world rankings. Instead, the Russians will be ranked No. 2 in the world and, like everyone else, will find out who will win the Miami title on Sunday.

“For me, winning the match was more important than being number one,” Medvedev said. “Winning the match, I saw it more as a bonus.”

Hurkaj of Poland will meet 14th Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the semifinals. In the men’s quarterfinals, Alcaraz defeated unseeded Miomi Kekmanovic of Serbia 6-6 (5), 6-3, 6-6 (5) on Thursday night.

“I was coming back pretty well, I was putting some pressure on his serve and it was helping my game,” Hurkaj said. “I was able to get some free points in my survey and it was pretty big.”

In the other semifinal, they will face sixth seed Francisco Serundlo of Argentina against Caspar Rude of Norway.

Hurkaz has played Medvedev four times, and Medvedev is ranked No. 2 in the world in each of those meetings – which they are now divided into. Hurcage has improved to 14-5 this year, and his record in Miami is 12-1 all-time.

“It’s a lot of fun to come here,” Hurkaj said.

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