It's non stop on the ATP Tour as just a day after the Indian Wells final the Miami Draw is out. Looks like a good one for Fed on paper and we can expect him to play his first match on Friday.
I don't know whether he's fully confirmed to participate yet but as you can tell from the picture above he's already landed in Florida so I guess we shall see how he recovers over the next couple of days before he confirms.
There's some very interesting matches in the pipeline early doors which should be good viewing. Then of course its semi finals where as usual it gets tough with Djokovic and Nadal likely being the opponents in his way from taking the title.
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Ivo Karlovic
- Round 3: Fernando Verdasco
- Round 4: Richard Gasquet
- Quarter Final: David Ferrer
- Semi Final: Djokovic / Murray
- Final: Rafael Nadal
Thoughts on the Draw
Roger said in his Indian Wells Semi Final press conference that he'd have preferred to play Isner in the final and it looks like he has a compromise here as Karlovic is a potential second round opponent. Fed / Karlovic matches are usually pretty good as Roger always conjures up some magic on the return.
I'm not 100% sure Ivo will make it though as it depends on his opponent in the first round, if he's up against a grinder who can return from 10 feet behind the baseline he might find it difficult and his record in Miami is poor, his best being the 3rd Round in 2010.
Third round could be Fernando Verdasco who had a decent run in Indian Wells before losing to Isner in 3 tight sets. Fed usually schools this guy but you can never take him lightly due to his hefty forehand. I think that matchup will likely happen as it's only either 2 qualifiers or Hanescu who can stop it.
Fourth round looks like either Gasquet or Anderson whom Roger schooled in Indian Wells last week. I would back Gasquet as he made the semi final in Miami last year and slow courts suit his wind up / flamboyant shot making approach but he's very unpredictable.
Roger's quarter final opponent could be last years beaten finalist David Ferrer who is coming back from injury. That's not a given though as both Nishikori and Dimitrov reside in that Quarter of the draw and both are capable of beating the Spaniard especially as he is not match sharp.
Then it's the usual Djokovic semi and Nadal final. We'll talk about those if they happen 🙂
Predictions / Dark Horses
I think Miami will probably spring some surprises and I don't think we'll have the top seeds having it all their own way. I reckon Fed can definitely make the semi finals here but beating Djokovic on this court is going to be a real uphill task. I know they say it plays faster than Indian Wells but I think this court bounces high and roughs up balls extremely fast. Humidity is high too which never helps and winners are hard to come by.
I guess the fact Haas managed it last year is food for thought but Djokovic is going to be buoyed by his win in Indian Wells so will be hoping to go on a tear up.
As for dark horses I can see Marin Cilic doing well here and also Kei Nishikori. I also quite like Gasquet and Simon who can play well on this type of court but their form is patchy. We shall see!
What do you guys think? Can Federer go one better than Indian Wells? Should he even play?