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Beyond the Baseline

Rafael Nadal onto Sony Open final after Tomas Berdych withdraws with illness

Tomas Berdych was on a roll before a stomach bug forced him out of the Sony Open. (Alan Diaz/AP) Tomas Berdych was on a roll before a stomach illness forced him out of the Sony Open. (Alan Diaz/AP)

No. 1 Rafael Nadal on Friday advanced to his fourth Sony Open final after No. 7 Tomas Berdych withdrew because of gastroenteritis.

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, as the Sony Open tweeted:

Despite the disappointing withdrawal, the Czech will rise to No. 5 on Monday. The current No. 5, Roger Federer, will replace David Ferrer at No. 4.

Nadal will try to win his first Sony Open title on Sunday when he faces No. 2 Novak Djokovic. The Serb also advanced to the final via walkover when No. 21 Kei Nishikori pulled out with a groin injury earlier Friday. It will be their 40th meeting and first of the season. Nadal leads the head-to-head 22-17, though Djokovic has won their last two hard-court meetings in straight sets.

 

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