By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Roger Federer
- 2016 Champion: Novak Djokovic
- British Interest: Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Aljaz Bedene (Q)
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
MIAMI, USA – With the tournament rocked by the withdrawals of both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, they are rewarded with a resurgent Roger Federer in as fourth seed.
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
Few people would have begrudged Wawrinka his show of emotion on Sunday after being edged in two sets in the Indian Wells final. Referring to Federer as an ‘a**hole’ as he smiled his way through Wawrinka’s speech, there is absolutely no doubt – this one hurt. But it is time for the Swiss No. 1 (for now) to put his emotions behind him as with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic’s withdrawals, he comes in as the top seed.
It is not as though he has a ton of points to defend here either – he folded in his opening round last year, and at times in Indian Wells looked as though his serving was inhibited and his usual bite on the backhand returned in force to get into the final, but he could not quite make good on his second set lead as a game changer.
He has a tricky potential fourth round against Alexander Zverev, while Nick Kyrgios (who pulled out of his quarter-final against Roger Federer with suspected food poisoning) could be a possible quarter-final opponent.
Nishikori had looked to be in some good form in the desert. He pretty much breezed through his matches to the quarter-finals without dropping a set, until he came up against an inspired Jack Sock. There the wheels came off against the power and peculiar whippy forehand of the American.
He could face some spirited attack from Pablo Carreno Busta in the fourth round. The Spaniard made his first Masters semi-final and his confidence will be high. Marin Cilic could await as a quarter-final opponent, but he has not exactly set the world alight this year.
What has the rangy Canadian got to do to get a break (preferably not of a limb)? He had to pull out of the Delray Beach final with a hamstring injury, and was also out of Indian Wells too. With the World Nos. 1 an 2 absent, he has a real chance to make a mark – if his body will let him.
It is not an easy draw – he should be able to get past Mischa Zverev, but a potential final-that-never-was rematch with a rejuvenated Sock could be trouble if he is looking to ease his way back into the swing of things.
Then again things do not get any easier with the prospect of Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. Maybe he will just settle for getting through his tournament, however far that may be, with no injuries.
While everyone rejoices at a second title for Federer this year, it will be interesting to see if he feels he is fit enough to take to the courts. We imagine that he will be aiming to give it his best shot – why wouldn’t he?
He was in impressive form in Indian Wells, not dropping a set throughout the tournament, and is enjoying this comeback and everything it seems to be offering him, in terms of putting the ‘youngsters’ under pressure.
He has a few challenges though – Juan Martin Del Potro is his probable first seed in the third round, with Dominic Thiem maybe in the fourth round. Would we count him out of achieving a Sunshine Double? Not at the moment.
The Miami Open takes place between 22 March and 2 April (-8 hours BST)
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