Miami left devastated by Djokovic, Nadal walkovers
By Steve Keating
MIAMI (Reuters) - The Sony Open, one of tennis's most prestigious events, was left devastated when both men's semi-finals ended in walkovers on Friday sending world number one Rafa Nadal and number two Novak Djokovic through to the final without hitting a ball.
Three-time champion 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 two women's doubles matches.
When it was announced prior to the start of the night session that the Nadal/Berdych match would not be played the stadium erupted in an angry chorus of boos, many showing their disgust by turning and heading for the exits.
"Sorry for Kei. Sorry for Tomas. Sorry for the tournament. Especially sorry for the fans," said Nadal about the double walkover. "It's very unlucky, very unusual for something that can happen.
"I cannot remember that (ever happening)."
That would be because a double walkover in the semi-finals of an ATP Tour event is unprecedented in the professional era. Continued...