ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Miami Open Draw 2017: Can Federer Do The Sunshine Double?

The curtain has only just fallen on the rather enjoyable Indian Wells event but the Miami Open qualifying is already underway, and the main draw is now out. Federer is probably en route to Crandon Park as we speak and you can see his projected opponents below:

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Konstantin Kravchuk
  • Round 3: Juan Martin Del Potro
  • Round 4: Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Quarter Final: Dominic Thiem
  • Semi Final: Stan Wawrinka
  • Final: Kei Nishikori / Rafael Nadal

Full .PDF printable draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Miami Tennis
After the withdrawal of both Djokovic and Murray, Federer heads into Miami as the fourth seed, and he's the form player of 2017. However, Key Biscayne has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Swiss; he's not made the final since 2006 and hasn't been past the semi finals since 2011. So what can he do this year?

First up is Konstantin Kravchuk in Round 2. The Russian has only won 2 matches this year, both on the challenger tour, so it's difficult to see him posing much of a threat.

Like Indian Wells Round 3 is where it gets interesting, and this time Del Potro is the likely opponent. The Argentine pushed Djokovic to three sets last week, and he's always tough to put away with his booming forehand and first serve. I make Roger the favourite but it's not a given, all five of Del Potro's wins against Fed have come on hard courts so if he has one of those days he can cause the upset.

The fourth round has the Royal Bank of Agut as the seeded opposition; he's been struggling with an injury of late, so I'm not sure what to expect from him. If he's fit, then he can grind like the best of them so at the very least you'll have to make a lot of balls. Tomic, Robredo and Querrey are also in that section. But again you fancy Roger to come through.

Into the Quarters and Thiem is a likely foe. Miami has been one of his better Masters 1000 events in his relatively short time on tour, so he'll be a tough proposition. The slow-ish hard courts should suit him, and he's got the stamina to go the distance along with the firepower to do damage from anywhere on the court.

The semi-finals could see Stan The Man with a chance to avenge his two losses at the hands of Roger this year, but both Kyrgios and Goffin are in that section, so it's not a given he comes through.

The final then sees Nadal and Nishikori as the top seeds. Nadal will be glad to land in the opposite half to Federer, but he's got some tricky matches in his way with Kohlschreiber, Dimitrov and Raonic in his quarter. An Aussie Open semifinal rematch between Rafa and Dimi is the match I want to happen. As for Kei, it's tough to say, he's just as likely to get injured as he is to make the final so who knows what happens on that one.

Projected Quarter Finals

  • Quarter 1: Stan Wawrinka (1) vs. David Goffin (8)
  • Quarter 2: Roger Federer (4) vs. Dominic Thiem (6)
  • Quarter 3: Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Milos Raonic (3)
  • Quarter 4: Marin Cilic (7) vs. Kei Nishikori (2)

My predictions for Federer? None really, I think this tournament is a bonus event where he might be able to pick up some more ranking points ahead of the clay season where is schedule looks sparse. He's had a ridiculous start to the year, so there's every chance he can win here, but historically it's not his best tournaments, and if you look at recent years it does favour players who can grind. I remember the Murray / Ferrer final a few years back which seemed to last a lifetime so I think it could be a battle of fitness rather than flair if the courts play as normal.

My Prediction: Zverev or Dimitrov to win their first Masters 1000 title!

What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. I like his chances against ‘Slicing’ BH Delpo. Too much liability unless he catches fire which is totally possible…One of places where he can get ample crowd support also…. if he passes third round I like his chances to make SF.

    Saying that, i totally agree anything here is bonus..I think he tries to play there for tournament, not sure he really wanted to play here after IW win…he may not have bothered if Murray and Novak in draw, likely considering fans too…

      1. Indeed, but I doubt he expected to Win IW then playing in I meant as likely withdrawn after his win if everyone playing in Miami..Or may be he really wanted to play too..

  2. I am not sure what to expect, i guess Roger should be fit enough to endure the whole tournament and pick up some more ranking points ahead of the clay court season.


  3. I think Fed can comfortably beat Delpo. Delpo doesn’t seem to ave the fitness anymore to go even 3 sets properly, and his backhand is a liability at this point too. Probably a flashhy game but he did lose to a below-par Djokovic (was lucky to get to 3 sets really).

    Agut I don’t see giving Fed too much trouble. Probably close sets, might nick one, but pretty comfortable overall.

    I’m worried about Thiem. He’s played Fed pretty well on grass and with the conditions suiting him I can see this going 3. Depends on how Fed plays really.

    Wawrinka will be tough. He’ll be super up to snap the little losing streak he’s on v Fed this year, so a coin flip at best I think.

    If Fed does get to the final I back him to beat Nishikori, and maaaybe beat Nadal. It’s more a case of how great it would be if he beat Nadal in a final again, rather than being sure he will do so. But, the way Fed has been playing, I can’t back against him.

    1. Del Potro came back from 2 sets down in the Davis Cup final to win in 5… so I don’t think he’s a total given.

      Can Nadal finally win Miami? Not sure, not my favourite.

  4. Miami is no favorite of Roger, so its difficult for me to see him go through to the semis or the final. However he is doing wonders…and another surprise if around the corner!!

  5. Well, as long as he doesn’t do anything *too* stupid, I guess I won’t mind too much how this one turns out. I guess I just want him to keep in playing rhythm and see what happens.

  6. Any one knows why Stan was crying during the presentation? What prompted that? I didn’t watch the match, but caught up on that part on Youtube.

    1. In my opinion I think he might be bit overwhelmed especially after what happened on second set where​he had chance..Also it had to be sucked to lose both sets and match when trying to serve to stay in..Based on his emotion he must have fairly believed he had better chance to get win on hardcourt against Roger…

      Definitely many people seem so annoyed by Roger’s reaction where as other people seem funny side including Stan..

      Of course all are speculation from my end…

      1. Stan was tired and naturally disappointed. Roger also always cries, win/lose, more or less obvious. Reaction of the enormous pressure to a sensitive mind. Nothing more in it, except to me Roger was a lot caring for him, although not giving him the win, – not his job πŸ™‚

    2. Who knows, looks like he was tired and was disappointed to lose. Difficult to say exactly why. But it certainly provides some good ammo for those who like to analyse the Fedrinka off court relationship πŸ™‚

  7. Bit like you Jonathan.. anything he picks up is a is bonus! Hv never really cared for this tourney, total sweaty humid grindfest.. ofc he cld win it but QF wld be great! He will slay Delpo tho.. that slice is no match for backhanderer..

  8. If he makes the quarters and loses to Thiem, I’m fine with that. Thiem is a very big hitter like Stan, of course, and the slow conditions really suit him. He’s also a better returner.

  9. I’m very relax right now no matter what the draw is… jeeezz. well I hope he can do his best a keep the motivation going. πŸ™‚

    Will he used the same tshirt design for miami?

  10. The way Roger is playing this season it is hard to say that he may not win any tournament he enters, especially on hard courts. But given that he has blown away all expectations in the first two he has really played in (Dubai doesn’t count), this could be the one where he makes an early exit. Up to the QF looks easy at this point. Thiem has the game to win on this court, but I would love to see Roger beat Dull once more. Doesn’t look likely, but Roger winning AO and IW to start this year looked impossible even as a dream a few weeks ago.
    I hope he skips part of the clay season after this and focuses on recovery and winning Wimbledon.

  11. There are three pivotal reasons why Rafa’s decline seems to me permanent and he is unlikely to win another Grand Slam along with his recent failure against Federer:

    1. His serve has tactically and powerwise become weak
    2. His court positioning at a times has proved to be confusing, hurried and flustered and it affected his timing on the forehand and eventually made that wing more error prone which did not happen in his prime.
    3. Most importantly, he has lost his valuable yet insane retrieving skill of the past by some quite margin, his retrieving skill had alone won him countless matches against Federer, Djokovic and other major opponents in Grand slams. We all know, game wise he had this enviable stylistic advantage over Federer which helped him to defeat Federer many times. But his stylistic advantage over Federer without his insane retrieving skill is just like Usain Bolt’s ferocious sprinting in one leg which is not enough to pass the ultimate hurdle.

    Champion of Nadal’s Calibre deserve a fitting swan song at his fortress in Roland Garros but taking too much strain on the body to win the matches in his early career has made his body functioning half of its full power. People once predicted that it will happen and it is happening now. It won’t stop unless he and his team finds way to counter this problem knowing the limitations he has in his game now. Otherwise I do not see him winning any grand slam again and possibly ending his career at the end of 2018.

    By the way, I am rooting for Fed Maestro’s another hot run in Miami and Slam number 19 in Wimbledon. This is my first comment, Jonathon please welcome me in your banner. Thanks

    1. Hey Abracadabra, welcome, and you know…. RG isn’t cancelled, he might win 19 there πŸ™‚ Everyone was talking Wimby and USO beeing his best chance for a slam and what does the dude do?? Win AO πŸ™‚
      So… don’t count RG out yet πŸ™‚

      1. We can all hope his fabulous run continues. I am happy to be a part of this blog. Thank you for welcoming me. For Fed winning RG and completing double career slam and beating Rafa in that process is like God presented me with paradise to live there forever.

    2. Thanks for the comment.

      Pretty much agree about Nadal, but he did make the finals in Aus, so I don’t think he’s a total write off just yet. Gotta see how early clay season goes… I think he will factor, he’s so at home on that surface.

  12. If you ask me ( problem is that nobody does ), Fed should have skipped this tournament and added some clay in his schedule.

    If Fed has to ever win the FO again, this year is his best chance.

    Djoker & Murray are mentally vulnerable due to the physical part.
    Rafa & Stan will never fancy their chances against Fed ( I know its clay but this is Fed – Version Asshole )

    It will be great for Fed to beat Rafa at FO.

    Really Fed doesn’t need the ranking points now that he is no 6.

    1. If Fed can just beat Rafa once in Roland Garros and win that trophy one more time I will die in peace never ever complaining for anything about my life. We can hope such day will come. I know I am greedy but realistically speaking his target this year should be wimbledon. We can not expect him to play all tournaments well like he did in 2005-2007 period. Age, health, right preparation, scheduling and right mindset and other off the field elements are involved with his game now. So for me the expectation is to win Wimbledon this year. US open and French open is still a far cry.

      1. Regardless of recent H2H, Nadal is a huge favourite on clay. It’s a totally different surface.

        Federer should prioritise Wimbledon. Not the French. Not even in my top 5 betting chances for RG tbh.

      2. So you want Federer to run from Rafa unless it’s on HC. Yes, clay is a different surface but if Federer puts him down on clay, Nadal looses his trump card. You can’t beat a tough opponent by being spineless. Nadal fans are counting on Federer not playing the clay season to keep that trump card in their H2H.

      3. Agree with Karen. There is no reason for Federer to run from Nadal on clay. He can beat Nadal even there.

        The problem was never the surface–it was Federer’s mentality. Federer had and still has a losing record against Nadal on outdoor HC, so it wasn’t the surface that was the problem.

        Nadal was just the messenger, the real obstacle was Federer’s mental block against doing what he needed to do to beat Nadal. Now that block is gone, he can regard Nadal as just another player, not some kind of baffling demon.

        If he keeps driving that backhand, and hitting those pressurizing returns, he can hurt Nadal even on clay.

        Federer is an attacking player, he gains confidence by assaulting the opponent in his home citadel where he’s strongest. It’s Nadal who gains confidence from hiding on his home turf where he thinks he’s safe. If Federer runs from Nadal, it feeds the mental demons and gives Nadal power over him again, something he doesn’t want to do.

        The stars may not align like this again. With Djokovic and Murray faltering, and Nadal–at the moment–at a loss to counter Federer’s play, and Federer playing so well, he’d be a fool to throw away the opportunity for clay-court success if it presented itself.

        Next few months are a big test of Federer’s judgment: he’s got to ride the wave of momentum and play enough, but not overplay and burn out. Pretty sure he’ll make the right decisions, though.

      4. “So you want Federer to run from Rafa unless it’s on HC.”

        Where did I say that? All I’m using is common sense, and that says Federer’s odds of beating Nadal drop significantly on clay. He can play well against him on the surface, he can even beat him on clay as he’s done before but it’s far more difficult. He’ll play the French Open and he might even play Nadal. But Wimbledon is going to be his priority whether you like it or not.

        And to say Nadal is just a messenger and it was only a mental block as to why he lost is daft. It does Nadal a total disservice tbh, he’s the best clay court player of all time.

        Federer should have beaten him early on clay when Nadal was still a bit of a newbie, he didn’t because he was a.) stubborn and b.) it’s an awkward matchup for him. That lead to Nadal getting the wood over him in the H2H which overlapped to other surfaces like grass and AO 09.

      1. Yeah Rahan, I follow that too regularly. What they do is knock off the points of the guys defending the points at the beginning of the tournament and keep adding as they win every round.

        Fed did not play Miami last time so doesn’t have any points to defend

        In effect the ranking of 4 is ephemeral.

    2. Hey Murli….if you only knew how much your opinion matters…. your comments are the one we all look forward the most πŸ™‚

      But I do agree with you, I want Roger to win Rome and Monte Carlo SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad…. like SO BAD. Miami he already has and it will be there too next year, I really hope he pushes for Rome and MC. This could be his year to win them both…. if he stays fresh (in the final almost at the end he really looked tired, don’t know if he would have won if it went 3 sets…).

      To be honest, winning all the 9 1000 tours….. Roger is like the only one who deserves to win it FIRST.
      I hope he realises that this could be that year….

      Oh and…. 19 will come at RG πŸ™‚

      1. “Oh and…. 19 will come at RG πŸ™‚ ”
        Is this a piece of Katyani Wisdom? Tell me it is πŸ˜‰

      2. Haha sweet Alex, if it comes true it is “Katyani Wisdom”,
        if it doesn’t come true it is “Katyani Wisdom 2018” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. Thanks Katyani and really appreciate your kind remark.

    I am with you on both Rome & Monte Carlo. Now is the chance for Fed to close all the gaps and unfinished business, before he ‘signs off’ ( being careful with the terminology )

    Also I don’t want one of these guys ( Rafa or Novak ) winning either an Australian or French respectively and get the tag of winning at least two slams in all categories. Fed really deserves that

    Also I seriously think that Fed’s early exit in Dubai ( though I cursed him and his future generations ) really helped in Indian Wells. He should have pulled out of Miami not because he won Indian Wells but to rejuvenate and maintain a healthy gap between tournaments.

    1. Oke Murli, what is it with you and using other words to describe the r-word??? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      #angryKatyaniagainstanyoneusingtheRword πŸ™‚

      1. “Rides away into the sunset”
        “Calls it a day”
        “Hangs up his boots”
        “Fades away”
        “Logs off”
        “Waves the white flat”

        He can do all those things, but no way can he “retire”. πŸ˜‰

  14. A challenging draw to be honest. I don’t have any expectations since its super slow condition. Roger performance at Miami has always been poor for past few years. If he goes deep, good but he doesn’t its fine. He can reach his body more.

    1. Federer’s performance has been iffy last 4 years everywhere. This year is Federer 2.0, so we will probably see 2 more grandslams and some over achievement from him provided he does not run more baths for his kids. The field is suddenly weak and he seems motivated enough.

  15. Hey everybody Roger’s early season success has definitely caught the eye of certain fanbases. This includes a certain GQ picture. Keep up the good work, Roger. He was definitely underestimated coming into this season.

    1. Of course, only natural it rattles a few feathers. But if it was another playing posing in a similar style many Fed fans would be voicing their displeasure πŸ™‚

      1. What style is that? Federer hitting his backhand with more authority and not just slicing it all the time.

    2. Wait…What. It’s a picture of Federer in “trainers”? I”m sorry I missed that. Federer showing some leg in that picture. “How dare he” especially when we fans see his legs all the time on court. You think that particular picture was undignified for Federer? LOL!

  16. The stark difference Fed has laid with other elite champions of his era is my opinion is this, Novak is the most impotent and dull champion out there in the tennis. At a times he seems he is begging to martyred under the cross for the sins he indulged in while playing tennis. His one bright spot in his murkily overachieving career is 2011. That is the only year when he was able to muster up mysterious force to dispatch Nadal and Federer with conviction. With that exception Novak has always been an utterly bizarre pandemonium in tennis. Meanwhile, his buddy Murray defines the ugliest and filthiest tennis at its best. Nadal in spite of being one dimensional, repetitive and chronic mannered player in the court usually happens to possess quirky yet post modern quaint brand of tennis which made him earn glorious legacy in the clay and fierce competitor by heart. While, Federer is the man who stands for tennis itself. He does not only play the game but also glamourize, glorify, sanctify, deify, dignify and eternalize the game of Tennis. The other two tennis great who I think can be remotely compared with Federer is Rod Laver and Pete Sampras since they also tried to play same brand of tennis which Federer revolutionized and symphonized with his magic Wilson wand over the years in his sterling career.

    1. Never saw Rod Laver play. But with Sampras I prob draw more comparison to Nadal? I get the 1 hander, good serve comparison etc., but on mindset I see him more like Nadal. They both suck on 1 surface too πŸ™‚ clay and indoor!

  17. I just saw the GQ feature on Roger and thoroughly enjoyed it. Was interesting that the reporter got to visit Fed’s home. Is this a first? Kind of funny that he was surprised that Roger is so “normal” and a bit of a dork. Serious Fed fans knew that already.

    1. The reporter probably been around enough fake people where there was a preconceived notion how Federer would be. Wait. It was an article? I was more interested in the pictures. jk.

      1. Sigh… Molefarm complains about us, then Rafa fans feel left out, so they start to drag us, then Molefarm aka Miserablefarm feels they have to step it up, so they start attacking us and now… Rena Army…. Sigh…. the life of a Fedfan πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I tell you… it is hard πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  18. Hello all! Amazing start to the year for Federer! The AO victory was a dream come true for Federer, and for those of us who kept the faith that he still had what it took to beat Nadal in a major final. IW was just gravy.

    I smell a Federer-Nadal final in Miami…losing early in Dubai helped Federer save a bit of energy. Also not having to play Kyrgios which would’ve been a fun match but pretty taxing given his power serving and heavy groundstrokes. All this means he has a good shot at a deep run.

    It’s hot, humid, and the courts play like treacle but I think that his recent conversion to short-point tennis and driving the backhand will help him come through the matches.

    Nadal is surely gunning for this title…he’s disavowed any such ambition in his pre-tournament press conference, which of course means he’s thinking of nothing else but the trophy. And with Djokovic and Murray, who account for eight Miami titles between them, out with injury, he smells his best chance yet.

    No expectations for Federer, just relax and play and enjoy.

  19. Why did you suddenly predict Grigor to possibly win it when he’s not even in your projected quarter finals?

  20. Wish you had a like button Jonathan or a best comment award, so many good comments on here. Roger’s resurgence is so inspiring and given us so much to talk about and look forward to, if Roger can’t win the double I hope it’s Thiem or Dimitrov or a title virgin anyway.

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