Alcaraz is surprisingly left out of Miami

MIAMI-. The Spanish tennis star Carlos Alcaraz suffered an unexpected elimination in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open in front of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, while Elena Rybakina and Danielle Collins met in the women's final.

Alcaraz, first seed in this Masters 1000 tournament in the absence of Novak Djokovic, was well below his level until succumbing to a rocky Dimitrov 6-2 and 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes.

The Bulgarian, number 12 in the ATP, will fight for a place in Sunday's final against the German Alexander Zverev, who previously got rid of the Hungarian Fábián Marozsán.

The other ticket will be fought between Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner, in a repeat of the 2023 final in which the Russian tennis player won.

The unexpected farewell of Alcaraz, who barely made an attempt to come back in the second set, prevented Miami from experiencing a semi-final for the first time made up of the four seeds.

“I have a lot of frustrations right now, because (Dimitrov) made me feel like I was 13 years old,” Alcaraz admitted with a smile.

“He played incredible tennis, almost perfect (…) I couldn't find solutions. I couldn't find a way to make him feel uncomfortable on the court,” lamented the Spaniard, winner of five Masters 1000 trophies at 20 years old.

Champion this month in Indian Wells (California), Alcaraz saw his streak of nine straight victories broken and his goal of being the first Spaniard to win the Masters 1000 double known as the 'Sunshine Double'.

“I was able to dictate and read the game better than last time. Overall, a great match from me,” said Dimitrov, who had lost three of his previous four duels against Alcaraz.

In the morning Alexander Zverev, fifth in the ATP ranking, opened the session by defeating Marozsán (57th) 6-3 and 7-5 and still has not given up a set in Miami.

The 26-year-old German advanced to his second semifinal in Miami six years after losing in the final against American John Isner.

To achieve this, he had to stop Marozsán's unexpected journey, which left two members of the ATP top-10 behind: the Danish Holger Rune (7th) and the Australian Alex de Minaur (10th).

Rybakina repeats final

The first semifinal of the women's WTA 1000 brought about an intense battle between the Kazakh Elena Rybakina and the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who fought until the end to become the oldest finalist of the tournament at 34 years old.

Rybakina prevailed by a score of 6-4, 0-6 and 7-6 (7/2) and reached her second straight final in Miami, where last year she lost to the Czech Petra Kvitova.

World number four, Rybakina is the best positioned in the ranking that remains standing after the eliminations of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff.

The 24-year-old Kazakh landed in Florida after missing the WTA 1000 in Indian Wells due to an intestinal ailment, where she was to defend her title, and in Miami she emerged victorious from four matches decided in the third set.

“I didn't come with many expectations to this tournament, I don't remember a tournament being so hard for me. The truth is, I don't know how I'm surviving,” Rybakina declared, mentioning the strong heat and humidity in which they compete in Miami.

This Thursday she needed her fearsome service and all her composure to stop a vibrant comeback by Azarenka, who was fighting for her fourth Miami crown after those in 2009, 2011 and 2016.

In the other semifinal, the American Danielle Collins, number 53 in the WTA, defeated the Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova (16th) 6-3 and 6-2 in just 75 minutes.

Collins, 30, is the first American finalist in Miami since Sloane Stephens' triumph in 2018.

Competing before the public in her native Florida, Collins offered a tennis recital to reach a WTA 1000 final for the first time, at the start of a season that she announced will be her last on the circuit.