Sony Open: Top seed Rafael Nadal will face Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals in Miami
Top seed Rafael Nadal battled back from a set down to overcome Milos Raonic and reach the semi-finals of the Sony Open.
Last Updated: 28/03/14 10:48pm
Nadal was given a stern test by his big-hitting Canadian opponent, but prevailed to book a last four date with Thomas Berdych, who beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was caught cold in the first set but stormed back to take the match to a decider, before eventually prevailing 4-6 6-2 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes.
The opening set went with serve until the 10th game, when Nadal double faulted to hand the early initiative to Raonic.
Nadal came roaring back, however, and opened up a 4-0 lead before comfortably closing out the second set.
The momentum has shifted and Nadal, a three-time runner-up in Miami, clinched the all-important break in the seventh game in the third before going on to seal his place in the last four.
"I was lucky at the beginning of the second set I started with a break and was very important for me," he said afterwards. "I felt that I finished the match playing better."
He will face Berdych in the semi-final after the Czech seventh seed overcame Dolgopolov 6-4 7-6.
Dolgopolov, the 22nd seed, had ended the challenge of Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the last round, but the Ukrainian could not repeat those heroics.
Berdych will move back into the world's top five as a result of his victory and will be looking to end a 16-match losing streak when he faces Nadal.
"Very different player, in sense of really hard to find the rhythm," said Berdych, summing up Dolgopolov. "If you are not really in good shape, he can destroy your game.
"He will force you to play the style what he wants and so he's a very tricky player.
"I was a break down since the beginning of the first set. Then break down in the second set, so it didn't look that well. But I managed, especially end of the second set, I hold pretty well and that's what I'm very pleased with."