ATP Masters 1000Miami OpenRoger Federer

Miami Open Draw 2018: Federer Starts With Qualifier

We've barely had a chance to digest the Indian Wells final loss but the Miami Open draw is already here and took place at 2pm local today.

It' never been my favourite event but this one marks the end of an era as it's the last time the tournament will be played at Crandon Park as it's moving to the Miami Dolphins’ stadium as of next year. Roger enters as defending champion and number one seed, you can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Qualifier
  • Round 3: Fernando Verdasco
  • Round 4: Pablo Carreno Busta
  • Quarter Final: Kevin Anderson
  • Semi Final: Alexander Zverev
  • Final: Marin Cilic

Full printable .pdf draw.

Thoughts on the Draw

Fed Laver Cup Chicago

After the customary bye, Roger will face off against a qualifier. I'll update this one we know who it is but a quick scan at the Qualifying draw tells me there aren't too many dangers, Taro Daniel, and Yuki Bhambri are both in there but in the main, it's looking fairly lightweight with Kokkinakis perhaps the pick of the bunch likely to be able to produce an upset.

The third round could then be Fernando Verdasco who's had some decent wins of late but can't seem to back them up in his the following match. Fiasco is a guy with one of the best forehands on tour and is easily one of the best athletes but his Tennis IQ is probably less than Leo and Lenny Federer's right now which is why he's not sitting on a few slam trophies 😆 . However, you can't take him lightly as he's got big weapons and if he's engaged will give anyone a game. Roger has never seemed to have much trouble against him though and I'd pick Fed to come through in two sets should they meet.

Round four has Carreno Busta as the seeded opponent, however, he's never won a match in Miami after four times of asking so I'm not sure whether he comes through. Fortunately for him, there aren't too many names in there that stand out, perhaps Mannarino but that's about it.  Should Roger meet the Spaniard I think the matchup favours him nicely, they have played once in 2013 at the French and although Carreno Busta is a better player now I don't think he's got the tools to take down Fed.

The Quarters then has Kevin Anderson as the projected opposition, the South African played well in Indian Wells as I expected and he should do ok in Miami too. I think the desert conditions do suit him more though so I wouldn't be surprised to see him slip up. Berdych is in this quarter as well and historically he's played well in Key Biscayne. But after looking good in Australia he's not really kicked on so again is a bit of an unknown. Maybe Edmund factors here after crashing in Indian Wells, he's practised a ton in Miami over the years so should be more than au fait with conditions.

The Semifinal sees Sascha Zverev as the top seed in his section but it's a fairly loaded quarter with Sock, Querrey, Fognini and Coric all in there and on any given day these are the sort of guys that will exchange wins between each other readily.  Maybe Ferrer can have one last roll of the dice here too, win % wise it's his best Masters 1000 event off clay so you never know.

As for the final, it's a long way off but Cilic is the top seed but just like the top half it's wide open here. Djokovic, Nishikori, Goffin, Dimitrov, Bautista-Agut, Raonic and Chung must all be seeing this as an opportunity to get into a Masters 1000 final with Del Potro in there too with a shot at the Sunshine Double.

As for my expectations? Non really just hoping for some good matches on at watchable times. I think a lot depends on how Federer pulls up after Indian Wells, he looked a bit tired in his last couple of matches so it will be interesting to see how his energy levels are looking in his first match. If he's looking ready to go and serving a bit better than he did last week then I like his chances of going deep but we shall see.

What do you guy 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. Basically didn’t even wait for a post, hadn’t even thought to check in the blog today, just entered now to check the comments and boom a new post. 🙂

      1. I think Jonathan is going a bit too quickly here. I found a mistake. It’s Marin and not Maran Cilic. 😉

    2. Hey, I’m now third tied for Number 1 in the comment leaderboard. Won’t last for long so I’ll probably make a print screen and put it somewhere on my PC. 😀

  1. Roger has had a shave,so that’s it.Miami in the bag.
    A bit of a Spanish Armada about to put to sea.?
    Verdasco can be devastating when he is ‘on’ so we will have to wait and see.

  2. His draw looks pretty good, I think. The other half looks fiercer. Let them all knock themselves out, especially you-know-who.
    Nice to see Fed looking happy with his Laver friends, thanks for this photo, Jonathan.

  3. ” but his Tennis IQ is probably less than Leo and Lenny Federer’s ”
    Actually made me laugh out loud.

    As for Miami, I’m not too optimistic. This is probably my least favourite non-clay event, maybe tied with Paris. Moreover, I don’t think Fed is playing well enough to win at a place he does significantly worse in that Indian Wells. Point being, I don’t see his level rising from there to here, and given the conditions, I have my doubts that he gets to the semi final.

    A lot does depend on how he recovers from that loss. If he bounces back determined to avenge it then he’ll probably win the whole thing, but I don’t really see it. All I’m hoping for is that he reaches the stage he needs to keep Number 1. Quarters, I believe? So three wins… certainly doable.

    But yeah, I don’t see him winning this. I doubt think I’ll change that until he plays an impressive match against someone like Berdych or Anderson.

    1. Haha Fiasco is one of my favourite players but he’s hard to follow with any sort of seriousness. I seen him practice before, absolute world beater but on match court, clueless.

      1. Yeah, I like him too. Fun to watch but it’s an experience for sure. Bit like Fognini in that respect really – clowns it up too much to seriously follow him but a sure bet for entertainment value.

  4. Draw post out already? Zero time to chill, poor Jonathan but thanks! It looks fine draw for Fed. Hope he’s got stamina left.
    Yeah he’s looking happy at the LC promotion. The tickets will go on sale on Friday, good luck Sid!

  5. I hope Rod Laver and Roger doesn’t eat to much of that artery clogging deep dish pizza. It may taste heavenly but it’s not the healthiest food on the planet. I looked at tennis stats and for the life of me I can’t figure how anyone can contest Fed’s GOAT status.

    Can I ask a question “does anyone think Roger can win 110 titles before retiring or just making it to 100 would be just fine?”

    I personally hope next year he plays more ATP 250 like Jimmy Connor.

    1. I think 97 would be fine, frankly. 100 would be special, and from there beating Connors would be the next real goal. But if he doesn’t win another title, oh well. Can’t always end on these perfect numbers.

      I disagree on playing the 250’s. Part of the reason Fed is well above Connors is because Connors played a lot of those tournaments. No need to go chasing weak titles for the sake of having the most total. I mean, if he played a bunch of 500 tournaments I’d understand, but how many does he play a year now? 4? 5? Playing more 250’s would mean playing less Masters, and I just don’t think it’s worth it.

  6. Jonathan, I’ve concluded you are an android. How do you pump out these posts faster than Delpo walking across the baseline!
    Thanks for all your hard work.
    I’m not ready to think about a new draw yet. Still mourning grandma.
    Come on, Sid. Get a bloomin ticket.

    1. ‘…faster than Delpo walking across the baseline!’ 😆 😆
      Still mourning grandma, hah? C’mon, bad for your wellbeing. I’m already 10 years older than I should be thanks to his roller coaster matches. Let’s be happy as our Fed is 🙂

    2. Hey Sue, sorry to hear about your grandma.

      About tickets, yes, it will be open for general public on Friday I think. How much can $600 buy me in tickets? They said all session tickets start at about $250.

    3. I only have limited time to get them fired out, so it’s either do it asap or wait and by which time the draw has long been done so my post is even more irrelevant than it is already 😆

  7. Good draw for Roger. He needs it the way he has played the last 2 matches. Not looking too far ahead in this one. Fiasco first. As always the hope is for Roger to win this. If not, anyone but DelPossum please.

    1. Qualifier first man, don’t right them all off just yet. No players with big games in there though, De Minaur is a good returner… Kokkinakis too.

      1. Looks like it is Kokkinakis first. Fiasco has to get past Sandgren first. Reaching QF should guarantee the top ranking until grass season. Should that happen, Roger should skip the clay season and focus on health and Wimbledon. Pretty sure that will be his team’s advise as well.

  8. I think he may be fresh enough for Miami. Laver Cup is his apple of his eye, meeting (and eating) with good friends for preparation. And I’m sure he takes the positives out of this small annoyance in IW final, learning a bit, and showing heart’s love therewith.

  9. A good draw for Fed, but in tennis we never know… Just a little afraid of meeting Kyrgios in the semis, if both get there… The second half of the draw is not easy.

    There will be another motivation  for Fed to win Miami this year again : his beloved wife Mirka will be 40 the day of the final (April 1). He may be eager to offer his  best supporter the trophy  for her birthday,  no ? 🙂

    1. I don’t mind Kyrgios. Fed has some good fights with him and although I’d of course want Fed to win, I would far rather he lost vs Kyrgios than Delpo.

  10. Tennis IQ probably less than Leo and Lenny, lol you are so funny Jon. Best part you are so right. The draw looks good till quarters provided Rog gets enough rest and have good level of energy. Please no night match, its slows down everything.

    1. Haha well Fed said he has a feeling they know what they are doing on court 😆 more than can be said for Fiasco. Fed is day session Saturday,

  11. What matters most is getting into the quarters to hold on to #1 – to me, at least, that’s the next big achievement. That essentially guarantees him #1 until the end of the clay season/wimbledon. and I think it puts pressure on Rafa to play hard for all of clay, too, because he’s got 4500 points to defend on clay. I get that there are other goals for the year, obviously, but another year-end number one, another 40 weeks at the top – I think these factor.

    1. So what exactly does Federer need to do to hang onto # 1 until Clay season? Get to Quarters or get to a Semi?
      My 3 goals for this year are: 1) Not have a heart attack or die of a broken heart. 2) Federer YE # 1 and 3)
      100 titles.
      The last two are pretty good shots, the heart attacks are probably a given.

      1. New haircut, bummer man. Well, at least Ivan showed. Big birthday celebration with Anna for Mirka’s 40th?
        Time to change the weather, J.

  12. Wasn’t Taro Daniel the one who put Djokovic out of Indian Wells?Some of these qualifiers can be very dangerous.
    I’m beginning to feel like the voice of doom.☹️
    First match for Fed on Saturday I think.

  13. So qualifiers have been placed; Roger will face winner of Kokkinakis & Frenchman Calvin Hemery, about whom I know nothing (age 23, rank 150 per ATP). Sounds like a bad break for Kokk really, but who knows – hopefully Fed will have had the chance to shake off whatever was ailing him. Saw somebody comment that Fed had pulled together an almost-win out of “nothing, really”, when so much wasn’t working for him. Not to get ahead of myself or anything, but a final rematch with Delpo looks totally possible. One match at a time though. Glad he’s got several days to acclimate.

    1. I know very little about either, only see Kokk play once or twice, had so many injuries. But he’s troubled some better players a few times.

      1. I saw Kokki play at Hopman Cup and he can hit big winners seemingly at will. Problem is he pulls the trigger too often and misses!

  14. About C. Hemery – the potential 1st opponent to RF if he qualifies : (sorry, it is in French).

    Deux semaines après avoir échoué à Indian Wells, le Français de 23 ans a cette fois franchi les qualifications d’un Masters 1000, une première.

    Grâce à une difficile victoire sur l’Américain Denis Kudla (4-6, 6-4, 7-5, en 2h7), Calvin Hemery (23 ans, 150e mondial) a décroché son premier tableau final en Masters 1000. Après avoir gâché deux balles de match à 5-3, 40-15, le Français a su trouver les ressources mentales pour relever la tête en fin de match.
    «Je me serais bien épargné ça mais c’est encore meilleur !, dit-il. Il faisait une chaleur pas possible. Le pire, c’est que je me suis rasé la tête la semaine dernière. Du coup, le soleil tapait dur sur mon crâne. J’ai pris un coup de chaud mais j’ai essayé de faire avec et de ne pas dépenser d’énergie entre les points. J’ai réussi à élever mon niveau de jeu dans le tout dernier jeu.»

    Hemery attribue surtout sa réussite à un récent changement de raquette. «Je sors d’une période difficile, ça fait une semaine que j’essaye une raquette différente et ça me réussit très bien. J’ai choisi de raccourcir le manche. Niveau sensations, ça n’a rien à voir.»
    Source : L’équipe website

    1. I apologise,like many in our country (England) I have only schoolgirl French.However after many holidays in your beautiful country I can sort of muddle through.Has Hemery changed his racket and has this had good results or do we have to wait to see.Bit like when Fed did it really?

    2. Thank you Butterfly, this is wonderful. Roughly:

      Two weeks after falling at Indian Wells the 23-year-old Frenchman this time passed the qualifications of a masters 1000, his first.

      Thanks to a difficult victory over the American Dennis Kudla (4-6, 6-4, 7-5) in two hours and seven minutes), Calvin Hemery (23 years old, ranked 150) has reached his first main draw in a Masters 1000. After missing two match points at 5-3 40-15, the Frenchman was able to find The mental resources to lift his head at the end of the match. “I would have been glad to spare myself that but this is even better he said. It was impossibly hot. The worst is I shaved my head last week. At once, the sun hit hard on my scalp. I took some heat but I tried to work with it and to not spend energy between points. I succeeded in raising the level of my game in the very last game”.

      Hemery chiefly attributes his success to a recent racket to change “I am coming out of a difficult period, it’s been a week that I’ve been trying a different racket and it’s working very well for me. I chose to shorten the handle. At the level of how it feels, it’s completely different.”

  15. Yes one has to be very dedicated to see our favourite playing live
    .My goodness the cost of that trip to Basle?
    Nevertheless a wonderful experience,to see Fed playing on his home court as it were,with the Basle crowd cheering him on was an unforgettable experience.If anyone is going this year(might be the last? then I thoroughly recommend the hotel Spolentor.
    So I know it is very expensive but I truly believe that we shall not see his like again and if you can go,you should.

  16. After Saturday, is Federer scheduled for Monday, and if so, is Nadal number one for another week? That takes the pressure off

      1. He is but if you look at the live rankings, Nadal migh take it back for a week before Federer then keeps his Miami points – potentially

  17. @Tennis fan,
    But doesn’t Nadal drop his Miami points?Oh I see what you mean.Nadals points won’t come off until after Miam and if Fed loses before the Quarters Nadal will still be ahead.
    So Fed better not loose then.

  18. They don’t update the rankings during a 2 week tournament. Roger is number one until Monday 2 April, and of course stays there if he reaches qf at least.

  19. Just watched a very deflated looking Djokovic knocked out by Benoit Paire.
    .What is wrong with him,he
    seems almost too tired to move,listless even,very odd,quite shocking really.

    1. Hasn’t been “himself” since his FO win from what I remember. Maybe the shine has worn off and he lost his hunger.
      No offence Roger, but I am getting tired of the LC hype. Honoring the legends of the game….if I hear that sentence one more time…. I’ll scream. Delpo is the flavour of the month….barf.

  20. I never thought any player would be more boring to watch than Ferrer, Karlovic, or Isner. Enter Del Po, who not only makes that list, but finishes top. Jesus! What the FUCK is his tennis all about? FUUUUUUUCK!!!

    1. Hi, Sid, my comments exactly except with more swearing.
      Let’s be thankful Roger Federer is in the world.

  21. Watched the Del/Haa match, Robin quite a comedian…don’t think Delpo saw the funny side. however it was
    refreshing to see that the noise from the crowd wasn’t bothering him! So C’mon Roger be good x

    1. That was pretty rough stuff, Wanda, I almost didn’t go on to page 3.
      At least the delp person lost a set today.
      Hopefully Shaverer will be back to normal transmission.

  22. Just lost the second set to Kokkinakis. Looking bad.
    His movement seems limited, and he can’t get to his position.
    Played a horrible service game, broken to love, generated nothing on serve. Couldn’t do anything too intersting on his return game in the second set.

    1. 8th game of the 3rd, Kokkinakis playing really bad, Roger just gives him enough chances to hold.
      I hope it’s not a hugh upset coming altough Roger seems to serve OK.
      Not feeling good about this one…

  23. I fucking knew it. The moment that saw Kokkinakis I knew that Roger will fuck up. Man, this is starting to become a BIG problem. First, screw up from 40:15 against Del Potro and now this.

    I was praying the whole match – not a freaking third set tiebreak. And then it happened and Roger lost..

    This is beginning to be VERY concerning…

    I don’t know what’s going on. All match Roger was on the cusp cut just not there to take those darn freaking break points..

    1. With respect is this not being wise after the event?Fed has never played this kockk person before..
      He has got a big forehand and serve and being young can play lights out.Fed and all the other great
      champions can be very vulnerable in the early rounds.Feds most hurtful losses last year were against Donsky and Tommy Haase in the early stages of the respective tournaments.
      One thing I do know,all this rubbish against the easy draws is just that rubbish.I said qualifiers could be very dangerous and so it has proved.But Fed played some terrible unforced errors in his last game in the third set and in the tie break.

  24. Despite his game deserting him and playing quite passively because of it, quite unlucky in the third. Had so many chances, was the better player but always an error when he tried press. Only lost 7 points on serve in the third. Obviously last week and the effects of the loss still on his mind. Seriously think his scheduling has been poor and probably cost him both losses. Match for Africa before IW, and Chicago this week. It’s fine for charity and fun etc but it will cost in the end particularly at his age.

    1. Very much agree about all the distractions.But does Fed really care?I wonder if,having won pretty well everything the only thing that really matters now is slams.So a nice long break before The grass

  25. Looking at the stats on the ATP website, I can’t see how Roger lost that one 🙁 I guess Jon will tell us more.

  26. You of course picked Kokkinakis as a potential upset, Jonathan. He played very well, well above his ranking. Massive serving and forehand, and very solid and good backhand. Mentally also very sound. In saying that a fresh, relaxed, confident, switched on Roger still wins that 99/100.

    1. In fact his game reminiscent of Delpo.An unfortunate first round opponent.And of course he will be out in the next round.

  27. Perhaps he can now forget about that wretched ranking and play free when he comes back in June. I liked him being number one but he played freer when he wasnt. Need more titles!

  28. When the match started I thought Fed playing well so we won’t be here long, but the longer
    it went on the more unlike him it was. I even thought at one point I saw a slight limp, maybe
    my imagination maybe the terrible shoes….just not his night I’m sure he will have a much needed
    rest. We as Fedfans just want him to win all matches because we have been spoiled. I now
    have no idea who will win the tournament what about Fabio Fognini !!!!!

    1. I thought Cilic playing rather well,but who knows,anyone’s tournament now.I have a soft spot for Zrevev,would love him to win it.Anyone but DP.

  29. I am actually glad that Roger is taking the clay court season off again. Sure, it would have been nice to either win IW or Miami or both in the process but as he has admitted something is wrong with his game. He struggled last week as well and now the combination of losing two in a row, the old body needing a significant rest (at least 4-5 weeks) without touching a tennis racquet, I think that he made the smart decision. There is no point chasing things now and spinning your wheels now – only more bad things can come from it.

    I bet you that the loss today is at least 70% result from the loss last weekend. His decision making is not top notch, his last return on 2nd serve into the net summed up the whole stretch here – just disappointing. Sometimes, you can find the way in those matches but you need to be full of confidence in order to get through those. And Roger isn’t.

    After the break, hopefully he can find his power backhand again. Too many times, he’s coming over it again. Maybe it’s the shoulder. I don’t know, and the serve would be off and on in stretches. You can’t hand that at the top level.

    Anyway, now we can relax too and turn this nonsense off until June…

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