Naomi Osaka's eyes welled with tears when her match ended, an all-too-familiar scene for her in recent years.
They were of the happy variety.
That is major progress for the former world number one.
The unseeded Osaka defeated the No. 22 Bencic in the Miami Open semifinals. She is in a championship match for the first time since the Australian Open in 2021.
Osaka said that she was almost crying.
Maybe not even close. She hid her face in an orange towel for a few moments after the match ended, and at least one tear made its way down her right cheek. If she wins the title, Osaka will be ranked no worse than 36th in the world and will return to the top 30.
Since her win in the US Open final over Serena Williams, Osaka has been through a lot. She withdrew from last year's French Open to address her mental health and left last year's US Open in tears after a derogatory shout from a spectator.
She considers South Florida to be one of the places she considers home.
In her on-court interview, Osaka thanked them from the bottom of her heart.
The two players who will replace Ashleigh Barty as the top-ranked women's player in the world next week were playing each other in the semifinals.
The No. 2-ranked man in the world, Daniil Medvedev, came into the tournament. He will stay there.
Hurkacz, the No. 8 seed and defending Miami champion, wore down the top-seeded and cramp-riddled Medvedev 6-7(7), 6-3, in a men's quarterfinals.
The muscles just went numb, according to Medvedev.
Had he won, he would have overtaken Novak Djokovic on Monday and returned to the top of the world rankings. The Russian will stay second in the world and find out who won the Miami title on Sunday.
It was more important for me to win the match than it was to become the top ranked player.
Hurkacz will face either Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in the semifinals. The last quarterfinals will be played later Thursday.
Hurkacz said that he was putting pressure on his serves and that helped his game.
The other semifinal features an unseeded man against a sixth-seeded man.
Hurkacz and Medvedev have met four times, and each of them has ranked in the top 2 in the world. Hurkacz's all-time record in Miami is 12-1.
Hurkacz said that coming here is so much fun.