Carlos Alcaraz a step closer to back-to-back Miami titles

Alcaraz beat Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the Miami Open quarter final.(Jim Rassol, PA) (AP)
Alcaraz beat Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the Miami Open quarter final.(Jim Rassol, PA) (AP)

World number one Carlos Alcaraz is one step closer to winning back-to-back Miami Open titles after beating American Taylor Fritz in straight sets to book himself a semi-final bout with 10th seed Jannik Sinner.

The 19-year-old was at his best once again, winning 6-4 6-4 in just under 80 minutes and continuing his vicious run of form that saw him win in Indian Wells less than a fortnight ago.

Speaking in his courtside interview, broadcast on Amazon Prime Video, Alcaraz said: “I had never played (Fritz) before but I knew I had to play my game, you know, the way that I was playing the previous matches, you know a high level for me.”

When asked about his upcoming match against Sinner, Alcaraz said he was “excited” to play the Italian in the semi-final.

“I played against him in the final rounds of the tournaments which means he is playing at a great level but I am sure we are going to play for big things in the future and I can’t wait to see us improve,” he said.

Daniil Medvedev ended the run of qualifier Christopher Eubanks to reach his first Miami Open semi-final.

American Eubanks has been enjoying the best fortnight of his career and will break into the top 100 for the first time next week, but Medvedev proved too strong in a 6-3 7-5 victory.

The Russian has won 22 of his last 23 matches, losing only in the Indian Wells final to Alcaraz, and is bidding for a fourth title from five tournaments.

Medvedev has already played 30 matches in 2023, and he told Amazon Prime Video: “That’s crazy because I feel great. I don’t know if it’s going to cost me at the end of the season – I hope not.

“That’s what we try to do with my team. Last year was not amazing but we were practising and working a lot. One moment I was like, ‘When is it going to pay off?’ This year it managed to click. I’m looking forward to one more.”

He was the player under pressure to start with, saving five break points in his second service game against the rangy Eubanks, but Medvedev came out strongly after a brief rain delay, winning five games in a row.

The only blip came with a loss of serve after he broke Eubanks to lead 4-2 in the second set but the American was unable to hold to force a tie-break.

In the last four, Medvedev will meet his good friend Karen Khachanov, who eased to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Francisco Cerundolo.

In the WTA, Elena Rybakina is the first woman through to the Miami Open final after her win against American Jessica Pegula 7-6 6-4.

It was her 13th straight win as the Wimbledon champion continued the run of form that saw her winning in Indian Wells earlier this month.

“I didn’t think I am going to be getting in the finals, so I am really happy and very proud,” Rybakina said after the match.

Petra Kvitova battled to a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win against Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach the Miami semi-finals for the first time at the age of 33.

The veteran Czech claimed the crucial break of serve in the eighth game of the third set after withstanding pressure and will meet Romanian Sorana Cirstea for a place in the final.