Federer, Wozniacki advance in Miami
Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki rolled through the first few matches of the Miami Open, never facing any significant challenges.
That changed Thursday, and both survived.
The fourth-seeded Federer fought off two match points before beating No. 10 Tomas Berdych 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6) in a quarterfinal matchup. Wozniacki rallied with far less drama, the No. 12 seed topping second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the final at Key Biscayne for the first time in her 10 appearances.
Federer — a two-time champion at Key Biscayne and now 17-1 in 2017 — will play either No. 12 Nick Kyrgios or No. 16 Alexander Zverev in today’s semifinals. Kyrgios and Zverev were scheduled to play their quarterfinal later Thursday.
Wozniacki will play in Saturday’s championship match against either No. 10 Johanna Konta or No. 11 Venus Williams. The Konta-Williams semifinal was scheduled for later Thursday.
ODDS AND ENDS
Soccer: FIFA wants to hold a new six-team playoff round in the 2026 World Cup host country to complete the expanded 48-team tournament lineup. The final two qualifying slots would be decided in the proposed mini-tournament played in the November before the World Cup as a test event. The idea was announced as part of the FIFA Bureau’s proposal to award each of the six continental confederations extra places at the World Cup, which will expand in 2026 when North America is expected to host.
College basketball: Kenrich Williams had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and TCU routed Georgia Tech 88-56 in the NIT championship game. TCU opened with a 20-3 run on its way to the program’s first NIT title. Vlad Brodziansky scored 18 points for the Horned Frogs (24-15), and Alex Robinson had 10 points and 11 assists. Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech (2116) with 19 points.
Figure skating: Two-time defending champion Javier Fernandez of Spain led the men’s event at the world championships in Helsinki and eclipsed his personal best score from winning the European title in January. China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the pairs.