Following his successful fortnight at the BNP Paribas Open, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will look to build on his recent surge of confidence with another deep run in Miami. The Swiss No. 2 will be tasked with defeating towering Croat Ivo Karlovic, whom he has faced on 11 different occasions on the ATP tour. The Federer vs Karlovic Head-to-Head stands at 10-1 and the Swiss will be looking to extend his comfortable lead on Friday afternoon.
Following his triumphant performance in Dubai, where he won his record sixth title at the event, former world No. 1 Roger Federer arrived in the California Desert, where he would work his way through a tough draw to reach the finals. He would eventually lose to Djokovic in a third set tiebreaker, but it would be a lose with positive outcomes as far as he is concerned. The Swiss star is now back in the Top 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since July, 2013, and has the opportunity to be seeded in the Top 4 by Roland Garros.
While his draw is a favourable one, Federer will need to overcome an in-form Karlovic, who has been on an impressive streak so far in 2014.
World No. 53 Ivo Karlovic coming off a tough 7-6, 7-6 victory over French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu. The two competitors did not face a single break point on serve throughout the match, yet it was ultimately Karlovic who struck 21 aces to edge Mathieu en route to the second round of the Sony Open. The 6’10 Croat will now be looking for his second Top 10 victory this season, having already defeated Tomas Berdych last month in Doha.
Federer holds a comfortable 10-1 lead in the head-to-head series, with his only loss taking place in a third set tie-break at the 2008 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Federer has won their last four consecutive encounters, and has not dropped a single set in the process. It will be interesting to see if Karlovic will manage to snatch a set off Federer this time around, or if this will be another straight sets victory for the two-time Miami champion.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets