Key Biscayne, FL – Argentine Juan Monaco knocked out eighth-seeded American Mardy Fish on Thursday to reach the semifinals at the $3.973 million Sony Ericsson Open, a Masters 1000 ATP event.
The 21st-seeded Monaco celebrated his 28th birthday in style by flattening a lethargic Fish 6-1, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Crandon Park. The match was over in 82 minutes.
Fish tried to make it a match by notching his first break of the day to level the second set at 3-all, but he was unable to consolidate the break, as Monaco broke right back.
Two games later, the bout was over, as Monaco advanced with a backhand volley winner.
Monaco is now 3-2 lifetime against Fish, including a 2-1 record on hardcourts.
The gritty Monaco will face the Novak Djokovic-David Ferrer victor on Friday. The reigning Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in last year's marquee Miami finale, also titled here in 2007, and was the 2009 runner-up to Andy Murray.
Friday's other semi will pit a second-seeded Nadal against a fourth-seeded Murray, who beat Djokovic in the final here in 2009. The former world No. 1 and 10-time major champion Nadal is a three-time Miami runner-up who owns a co-record 19 career Masters titles.
The 2012 Miami champ will collect $659,775.