Rafael Nadal was far from his best in Miami on Wednesday night, but still managed to edge Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to book a place in the semi-final.
"I didn't play very well tonight," Nadal admitted after the match. "I think I started the match playing really well, but later when I had the break in the second [set], I started to play more defensive... My feeling was Jo was having much more mistakes than usual, so the match didn't have the right rhythm."
The Spaniard had a chance to server out the match in the second set, but played a series of poor games to surrender the set. He recovered quickly, and eventually wore down Tsonga.
He will face Andy Murray for a spot in the final.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.