Berdych, Nishikori withdrawals shake up Miami Masters

Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:17pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal and number two Novak Djokovic advanced to the final of the Sony Open in shocking fashion, receiving walkovers after their opponents pulled out of the tournament within hours of each other on Friday.

Djokovic was first gifted a spot in Sunday's final when Japan's Kei Nishikori withdrew with a groin injury.

A few hours later the tournament was rocked again when seventh seeded Czech Tomas Berdych announced he was withdrawing due to gastroenteritis, handing Nadal a free pass.

Thousands of tennis fans had arrived at the Crandon Park complex expecting a day of pulsating action but instead were left with a two doubles matches.

"Sorry for Kei. Sorry for Thomas. Sorry for the tournament. Especially sorry for the fans," Nadal said on his Twitter account after the double walkover.

Nadal advanced to the final for a fourth time where he will try for his first title on the Miami hardcourts against three-time champion Djokovic.

Nishikori had reached the last four after registering a pair of three-set upsets, defeating Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in fourth round followed by a quarter-final win over Swiss 17-times grand slam winner Roger Federer.

TROUBLE MOVING   Continued...

Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Tomas Berdych hits a backhand against Alexandr Dolgopolov (not pictured) on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Berdych won 6-4, 7-6. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports