Tennis: Ram/Mirnyi reach final of Sony Ericsson Open

Pair beats Austrians Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 7-6 (8), 10-6 in prestigious Miami tournament.

andy ram tennis loss 248 88 (photo credit: )
andy ram tennis loss 248 88
(photo credit: )
Andy Ram and his Belarusian doubles partner Max Mirnyi reached the final of the prestigious Sony Ericsson Open in Miami late Thursday night. The pair beat Austrians Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 7-6 (8), 10-6. On Wednesday, the duo, which reached the final in Indian Wells last week, defeated the French pairing of Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Venus and Serena Williams say they've seen little of each other over the past week because of their busy schedules. But that changed on Thursday night in Miami, when they met in the Sony Ericsson Open semifinals. The 20th showdown between the sisters ensures a finalist from the family on Saturday. The Williamses have won eight of the past 11 Key Biscayne titles. "I believe we are the best in the world," Venus said. "I enjoy playing Serena because we challenge each other the most." "I'm always going to be up for 'V,' because she's playing really well and always playing me super tough," top-ranked Serena said. She advanced first on Wednesday, overcoming a dismal start to beat unseeded Li Na of China 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2. Five hours later she was joined by No. 5-seeded Venus, who beat No. 26 Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4. The other women's semifinal on Thursday will be between No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 11 Victoria Azarenka. In the showcase night match, No. 2 Roger Federer needed dominant serving and one lucky bounce to beat Andy Roddick 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Federer lost serve only once and broke after hitting a passing shot on the next-to-last point that clipped the net cord and hopped over Roddick's racket for a winner. Federer improved to 17-2 against Roddick and avenged a defeat when they met in the Key Biscayne quarterfinals last year. Federer's opponent on Friday will be No. 3 Novak Djokovic, who beat No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 6-4, ending a four-match losing streak to the Frenchman. On the other side of the draw, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal faced Juan Martin del Potro in one quarterfinal late Thursday, while Andy Murray was set to play Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the second. AP contributed to this report