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
Thoughts on the Draw
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.