Federer, Woz­ni­acki ad­vance in Mi­ami

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

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.

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