|Posted on March 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM|
Berdych had been in fine form throughout the tournament in Miami, where he hadn’t dropped a set en route to his fourth semifinal of the year. But he woke up sick on Friday morning.
NADAL TO FACE DJOKOVIC IN MIAMI FINAL
by ATP Staff | 28.03.2014
Rafael Nadal will look to win the Miami crown at the fourth attempt.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will contest the Sony Open Tennis final for the second time after both received walkovers through the semi-finals on Friday in Miami.
Nadal and Djokovic clashed in the 2011 title match at Crandon Park, with Djokovic prevailing in a third-set tie-break. The pair will meet for the first time this season. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 22-17, but has lost his past two meetings with Djokovic, losing in the finals in Beijing and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Three-time Miami champion Djokovic is bidding to win the Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time in his career (also 2011), having beaten Roger Federer in the Californian desert two weeks ago. The Belgrade native lifted the trophy in Miami in 2007, ’11-12.
The 27-year-old Nadal is looking to clinch the elusive Miami crown, having finished runner-up three times previously in 2005 (l. to Federer), 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and 2011.
Djokovic had been due to face Roger Federer’s conqueror, Kei Nishikori, in the semi-finals, but the Japanese player was forced to withdraw with a left groin injury.
Writing on his Facebook page, Nishikori said, “Very sorry to say that I have to pull out today. Very disappointed and I am obviously very sorry for any fans that wanted to come out for this match.
“This tournament is very special to me and I look forward to coming back in the years to come. I will work with my medical team to be back healthy as soon as possible.”
Tomas Berdych then pulled out from his scheduled semi-final clash with Nadal due to gastroenteritis. The Czech is set for a return to the Top 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, having beaten Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals.
"I was feeling really in good shape to go and play Rafa," said Berdych, who began feeling unwell on Friday morning. "I'm really very disappointed with the way that I have to be sitting here and talking, not even as the one who lost and didn't even have a chance to hit the ball."
Get Well Soon Tomas <3
Press Conference Tomas Berdych and Adam Barrett
MIAMI, FLORIDA - Friday, March 28, 2014
THE MODERATOR: Tomas has gastroenteritis. Please, just a couple of questions, as he's not really feeling well.
Q. Just tell us what happened, what you know about this condition.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, what happened, last night was basically the same as every other night, you know. I mean, I end up in the same place, restaurant, nearly had the same foods to eat and everything was fine.
We get back to the hotel. Really, a regular procedure. Nothing, nothing really specific. Just like in the morning, 7:30, 8:00, I just woke up with a pain in my stomach, just went for toilet, and got really strong diarrhea. And since then, it starts to go on and on. More time, diarrhea, and then also throwing up and stuff like that.
So I lost so much of the liquid and all the possible energy I could have.
Came here. Tried to do as much as I could, you know, see the doctors, receiving the IV, and basically not with good results that I can basically go and try.
Q. Did you even try to hit a ball or not even?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I'm glad that I came here even to see you guys here, and that's really‑‑ I mean, that's the worst basically that a tennis player can get, you know. Without any energy or anything, cannot do anything.
Q. How disappointed are you?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, a lot. Really, it was a good tournament going for me. I was playing well. Especially yesterday, you know, it was a good match for me.
I was feeling really in a good shape of going and playing Rafa. I mean, the streak that he's keeping with me, it's really long. I was hoping, you know, that could be a day that I can, you know, I can try to change that and play some good tennis and do it.
I'm really very disappointed with the way that I have to be sitting here and talking not, you know, basically as the one who lose and didn't even have a chance to hit the ball.
Q. You said you had the same procedure you have been having the last few days. What did you eat?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Simple. Chicken and rice. It's really ‑‑really not any‑‑ how we were talking about here probably in the beginning, some local food. Not at all. It was really just well‑known place where I have been not for the first time. It was like my sixth night in a row.
So really, I don't think it's a matter of really the food poisoning. I think it's just a virus, because I think, you know, the food poisoning would start definitely in the middle of the night or way sooner than basically I end up. My dinner at 9:00 and then starts to have problems at 7:30, which is nearly 12 hours.
So, no. It's just some virus get caught in the air.
Q. Are you playing Davis Cup?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I'm not.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Adam? (Adam Barrett, tournament director)
Q. Adam, this must be devastating for you, to the tournament?
ADAM BARRETT: It's not what we wish for. First, I just want to thank Tomas that he did‑‑ that he got out to the site. We all know when you're not feeling well, especially with the stomach bug of some sort, flu, virus, even a bad cold, you know, most of us don't go to work.
Yet to try to come out and prepare for a three‑set match against the No. 1 player in the world, it took a lot of effort for him to do that. As I said, most of us would have been in bed watching TV all day.
So I really appreciate that he gave it a shot. Appreciate all the work that the doctors did trying to get him ready. But unfortunately we have been unlucky today. It's never happened before.
I ran into Cliff Buchholz, who was the tournament director before me for many, many years. He looked at me and said, Adam, that's never happened before. I think you just set a record.
I said, Cliff, not a record I want to set.
Q. And publicity, too, right?
ADAM BARRETT: Also not publicity that I really want.
I mean, we look forward, you know, to the good news, which is we do have the No. 1 and No. 2 players playing two days in a row. I don't know that that's ever happened or when it's happened here. I'm sure it hasn't happened a lot at any tournament, so we have good matchups lined up for the weekend.
You know, we will try to take care of all of our fans the best that we can. It's not an optimal situation.
I have‑‑ you know, me and my team, you know, it's hard to get through a day like this. You do what you can, and you hope for the best.
In this case, you know, we have had a lot of great things happen this week, a lot of great actions, a lot of great storylines. Sometimes the storylines, you know, take a turn.
This time they took a turn both in the afternoon and evening sessions.
Q. Will this make you rethink the singles match format? Even though you do have doubles on tonight, I mean, you're vulnerable and it's going to affect your ticket sales. And logistics for next year, I mean, is there any other option?
ADAM BARRETT: Like when anything happens, we will go back and we will analyze it, and we will look at what our options are. We will look at what we believe is best for the players, best for the tour, best for the tournament, and best for the fans.
So we will go back and we will look at all that. If there is a better format, once again, we play in a format that allows the competition to be spread out that allows for maximum rest by the players so they are playing their best matches. We play half the draw so they know when they are playing.
So we work very, very hard on that, but we analyze anything, both good or bad, to see if we can make improvements.
So if there is a better format out there, a better schedule out there that lowers the risk, we will look at it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports