Cerundolo Moves Into Miami SFs After Sinner Retires

Argentine will play Zverev or Ruud in the last four

Francisco Cerundolo advanced into the semi-finals at the Miami Open presented by Itau Wednesday after Italian Jannik Sinner was forced to retire due to foot blisters. The Argentine was leading 4-1 in the first set when Sinner called the match after 23 minutes.

The World No. 103 held a 0-2 tour-level record on hard courts prior to this week, but is now into the last four on his ATP Masters 1000 debut. Cerundolo is the lowest-ranked men's singles semi-finalist in tournament history (1985-2019, 2021-22) and the first player to reach the singles semi-finals on his Masters 1000 debut since Jerzy Janowicz advanced to the final at the Rolex Paris Masters in 2012.

The 23-year-old earned standout victories over Tallon Griekspoor, Reilly Opelka (second-set retirement), Gael Monfils and Frances Tiafoe en route to his match with Sinner.

“I didn’t know anything,” Cerundolo said in his on-court interview. “When I was serving at 3-1, 30/0, I saw him bending down. It was really strange. I didn’t see anything wrong and I hope he is ok, he is a great player. It means a lot [to advance]. It is everything I have dreamed of.”

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Cerundolo will aim to continue his fairytale run when he faces second-seeded German Alexander Zverev or Norway’s Casper Ruud in the semi-finals in Florida.

The Argentine overcame Tiafoe in a tough three-set battle in his previous match, hammering forehands and demonstrating great agility as he showcased his hard-court prowess to outlast the American.

Cerundolo, who reached his maiden tour-level the final in Buenos Aires last year, has enjoyed a strong 2022 campaign, winning an ATP Challenger Tour title on clay before soaring into the semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro.

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#NextGenATP star Sinner turned heads when he became the second-youngest finalist in Miami’s 36-year tournament history aged 19 last season.

“It's a blister, and I couldn't move,” Sinner said in his post-match press conference. "The last game against Nick, I had felt it, and today I tried but it didn't work. Especially when I slide, but also when I move, when it makes contact with the shoe is tough, but we have to figure out and find a way.”

This week he triumphed over Emil Ruusuvuori, Pablo Carreno Busta and Nick Kyrgios to reach his third tour-level quarter-final of the year. The 20-year-old also advanced to the last eight at the Australian Open and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

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