As one Masters 1000 event concludes another one gets underway with the ATP Tour heading from Indian Wells to the ATP Miami Open which gets underway in Florida on Wednesday as the Hard Rock Stadium opens its doors to the best tennis has to offer.
Hubert Hurkacz enjoyed life at the home of the Miami Dolphins last year when he came through the field to win the title behind closed doors. He’ll defend the title this week and he’ll do so with crowds back in Miami too.
2021 – Hubert Hurkacz
2019 – Roger Federer
2018 – John Isner
2017 – Roger Federer
2016 – Novak Djokovic
2015 – Novak Djokovic
2014 – Novak Djokovic
2013 – Andy Murray
2012 – Novak Djokovic
2011 – Novak Djokovic
We have the usual size Masters 1000 event field for this tournament. 96 players will be in the field once qualifying has concluded with the 32 seeds straight into the second round. Qualifiers and those ranked outside the top 32 play in the first round to join them there. The draw has been completed already and the tournament is a straight knockout with every match over the best of three sets. There is a tiebreak in the final set should it reach 6-6. The champion is crowned on the second Sunday of the competition.
He bombed out early in Indian Wells last week but Daniil Medvedev is the number one seed in the draw this week and he will look to go deep from the top quarter. His early demise in the desert will give the other seven seeds in this section the thought that they can have a deep run here. They are the Chilean ace Cristian Garin, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Roberto Bautista Agut, Denis Shapovalov, British number two Dan Evans, Aslan Karatsev and the defending champion Hubert Hurkacz.
We haven’t had the qualifiers placed into the draw at the time of writing this preview but we do know some of the players who will battle it out for a second round spot. French pair Arthur Rinderknech and Ugo Humbert will be hoping to pick up some wins this week while Lloyd Harris will be looking for an upturn in his form. Kamil Majchrzak and Jenson Brooksby are capable of decent things this week but the biggest name in the first round in this section will be Andy Murray.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was another big name who failed to go deep in the desert last week and he’ll be hoping to make up for that disappointment from the second quarter this week. The Greek has never gone beyond the quarter final of this tournament which will certainly keep the other seven seeds in this section interested. They are Alex de Minaur, Marin Cilic, the new kid on the block in Carlos Alcaraz, Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz, although the American is a huge doubt to line up here, Karen Khachanov, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Of those who will come into the draw in the first round Miomir Kecmanovic was a semi-finalist in Indian Wells and will look to build on that this week. Sebastian Korda probably should have beaten Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells last week but gets a much nicer draw this week while Tommy Paul, Botic van de Zandschulp, Marcos Giron and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will all look to make good headway as well. Lorenzo Musetti is another hoping for a good run.
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Matteo Berrettini was another big name early casualty in Indian Wells last week and he turns up at Miami hoping to make up for that before the attention switches to the clay courts. The Indian Wells semi-finalist Andrey Rublev is seeded to meet the Italian in the quarter final but six other seeds will have a thing or two to say about that. They are Frances Tiafoe, Gael Monfils, Reilly Opelka, the 2021 beaten finalist Jannik Sinner, Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini.
There is no doubt who the standout player from the first round in this quarter is. It is the Indian Wells quarter finalist Nick Kyrgios of whom all eyes will be on to see if he can come out of a much kinder draw. Adrian Mannarino is his opening opponent in what should be a first round cracker. David Goffin will also enter the first round in this quarter while Maxime Cressy and Brandon Nakashima are two home men who will be looking for a big run.
Alexander Zverev disappeared as quickly as he arrived almost in Indian Wells but he is the leading seed in the bottom quarter this week and looks to have a plot draw to emulate his best run which was to the final here in 2018. The Olympic champion is seeded to meet Casper Ruud in the quarter final although given how both went in Indian Wells last week plenty of players will be looking at getting those two beat before then. The seeded ones are Alexander Bublik, John Isner, Cameron Norrie, Diego Schwartzman, Lorenzo Sonego and Grigor Dimitrov.
Borna Coric made his return from injury in Indian Wells last week and will be looking to build up his fitness here while Mackenzie McDonald will be hoping to go well in front of a home crowd. Richard Gasquet is another recognisable name in the opening round of the tournament as is Gilles Simon. Hugo Gaston and Jack Draper are a couple of exciting youngsters to look out for while the enigmatic Benoit Paire is sure to bring the weird and wonderful to the court!
Big servers tend to hold sway here in Miami where the ball bounces pretty high making them very tough to return so I’m going with a couple of big deliverers this week. The first is Matteo Berrettini. The Italian has come off the top of his form in the last few weeks but he made the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier in the year where a couple of five-setters probably caught up with him by the time he ran into the eventual champion Rafael Nadal. There is no Nadal to dodge this week though so I expect a pretty decent run from a man who is fresh. Berrettini is one of the biggest servers in the game but he also has a decent ground game now and should really enjoy these conditions. I think he has a great draw to go deep at 28/1.
I’ll also make a small play on the Miami specialist John Isner who has won this tournament before, made a final and another semi-final and was only denied an appearance in the last eight last year when Roberto Bautista Agut got the better of him in a final set tiebreak. Isner clearly loves this part of Florida and while not all of his great performances have come here, with some being at Crandon Park, the conditions at Hard Rock suit him perfectly. The American hasn’t had the best of times of it on the singles court this year but with his serve I’m not sure form is that relevant. What is relevant is that he’ll have the confidence of winning the doubles in Indian Wells behind him here and in a wide open section of the draw I think he could do some more damage this week.
Back M.Berrettini to win ATP Miami Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 29.00 with Coral (1/2 1-2)
Back him here:
Back J.Isner to win ATP Miami Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Betfred (1/2 1-2)