ATP Miami Masters 2013 Draw Preview and Analysis

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For full draw, please click here: ATP Miami 2013 Draw

Following on from last week’s first Masters 1000 tournament of the year comes the second from Key Biscayne, Miami. The 29th edition of the Sony Open is a joint event with a WTA Premier Mandatory hosted alongside it. The draw sees both Roger Federer and Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal opt out of the tournament with the top four seeds being as follows; Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych. Djokovic will be looking to extend his run at the tournament to a third straight title.

Djokovic has a fairly straight forward looking route to the semi finals and begins with either Gilles Muller or Lukas Rosol to begin proceedings. Muller has had an awful start of the year, being dumped out by clay courter Paolo Lorenzi in Indian Wells while seeing early exits in Challengers in Dallas and Cherbourg. Rosol was also a first round loser in Dallas, being knocked out by eventual finalist Denis Kudla. Evgeny Donskoy showed his ability in a plucky three set defeat to Andy Murray in Indian Wells and should be confident of knocking out Somdev Devvarman if he can keep up that level. Feliciano Lopez is definitely a beatable seed for either player, although his early hammering by Ernests Gulbis in Indian Wells doesn’t look as bad in hindsight as it did at the time.

Tommy Haas looks the biggest threat to Djokovic in the rest of the section though in reality it is hard to see Haas even taking a set as he did last time they met. Haas ended a 17 set winning streak by Djokovic on hard courts before losing in three sets as Djokovic took the title in Toronto. He faces either Igor Sijsling or Leonardo Mayer, the latter of which had to withdraw from Indian Wells before his match with Rafael Nadal. Sijsling has struggled for consistency on the main tour this year but did trouble Haas in Delray Beach, taking a set before being forced to retire. The ever unpredictable Alexandr Dolgopolov definitely has the talent to spring a shock but it’s hard making a case with recent losses to Carlos Berlocq and Ivan Dodig so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of Nikolay Davydenko or Paolo Lorenzi take victory. Lorenzi defeated Davydenko in their only meeting last year, however it was on the clay of Rome.

If seedings go as projected, Djokovic will face Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter finals but it is no gimme with the awful form Tipsarevic is currently in. Tipsarevic has lost his last 9 sets (plus a retirement at 5-1) as well as being bagelled in the last two defeats to Ernests Gulbis and Nikolay Davydenko. He opens against Marinko Matosevic or a qualifier which he may make it through but an in-form Kevin Anderson will be a much tougher proposition. Anderson defeated David Ferrer on his way to the Indian Wells quarter finals and definitely has a section of the draw where he will feel confident he could repeat. Anderson plays either a qualifier or Horacio Zeballos to begin – the Argentinian has struggled since his unbelievable Vina del Mar triumph. Anderson could meet Gilles Simon in the fourth round for the second tournament running if the Frenchman can see of a section that includes wildcard Lleyton Hewitt and Florian Mayer. Simon opens against either Hewitt or clay courter Joao Sousa while Mayer plays either Grega Zemlja or Roberto Bautista-Agut. After a promising end to 2012, Zemlja has struggled this year going 2-5 although three of those losses were to top 20 players.

David Ferrer was dumped out early in Indian Wells but a qualifier to begin here is a nice way to open the tournament for the third seed. A third round tie against Fabio Fognini, who took a set from Ferrer in Acapulco, doesn’t look likely given he will have to defeat a French opponent – be it Michael Llodra or Benoit Paire. Paire took the last meeting between the two, winning in three sets in Montpellier earlier in the year. After losing to Carlos Berlocq in Indian Wells, it appears that injury niggles are still troubling Kei Nishikori who begins against either Victor Hanescu or Andrey Kuznetsov. Hanescu has a 2-0 record over Kuznetsov and should be more suited to the surface, basing his schedule around hard courts this year so far. Jeremy Chardy plays against Xavier Malisse or a qualifier, both players had disappointing early exits at Indian Wells losing to Bjorn Phau and Leonardo Mayer respectively.

After Juan Martin Del Potro‘s excellent run to the final, debate will continue on whether he can truly challenge the top four on a regular basis. The extent of his progress will be telling should the projected Del Potro-Ferrer tie occur, given that it is a match up the Argentinian has struggled with often with Ferrer holding a 6-2 record. Fitness permitting, it is hard to see this match not occurring. Blaz Kavcic or Tobias Kamke await the Argentinian in round two with both players not in the greatest of form, losing in the first round of challengers in Sarajevo and Dallas respectively. In the latter challenger, Jurgen Melzer made a return to form taking the title and will fancy his chances of meeting Del Potro in round three. Ricardas Berankis and a struggling Marcel Granollers stand between the Austrian and that match. An all-American first round ensures that an American in the second round from the top half of the draw. Wildcard James Blake plays Ryan Harrison – both were defeated by top 10 players in Indian Wells (Tsonga and Nadal respectively) so will relish the chance for a less illustrious opponent. Julien Benneteau awaits in round two for the winner. Juan Monaco looked far from his best against Marinko Matosevic in Indian Wells which will give the winner of Albert Ramos and a qualifier plenty of confidence for their round two tie.

A fourth round loser in Indian Wells to Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet can get revenge in a projected quarter final with the Czech but it won’t be straight forward given Mikhail Youzhny has a 4-3 record over the Frenchman and will hope to extend that if both players can see off either a qualifier or opponents from Asia in round two. Youzhny could meet Yen Hsun-Lu while Tatsuma Ito is a potential opponent for Gasquet. David Goffin and Robin Haase are both in awful form so their round one tie gives both a chance to reverse their fortunes with Philipp Kohlschreiber awaiting in the next round. The German lost a surprisingly one-sided affair to Benoit Paire in Indian Wells in his first match since picking up an injury in Davis Cup action in February. Nicolas Almagro takes on an Argentinian in the second round with Carlos Berlocq and Guido Pella facing off for the opportunity. Pella was granted a wildcard by the organisers but Berlocq showed excellent form in Indian Wells making the fourth round, only to be disappointingly overshadowed by the grunting debate after his loss to Andy Murray.

Expect some big serving in this section of the draw with a projected Round three between Milos Raonic and Sam Querrey. In three meetings between the two, there has been four tiebreaks in eight sets but it was surprisingly easy for Raonic last time round, winning 4 and 2. Raonic plays a qualifier while Querrey may do should they manage to beat Lukasz Kubot in the first round. Tomas Berdych made the semi finals in Indian Wells but will be disappointed with the way he collapsed from a promising position in the second set of his semi final with Rafael Nadal. He opens against either Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Denis Istomin, with the Spaniard holding a surprise 2-0 record over Istomin. Fernando Verdasco will be hoping for a slightly better performance this time round than in his outing in Indian Wells, where he won just one game against Jarkko Nieminen. Opening opponents Go Soeda and Alejandro Falla exited in round one and round two of Dallas respectively with the latter winning just four games against Olivier Rochus.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made the quarter finals of Indian Wells before exiting tamely to Novak Djokovic and has an intriguing draw here. He opens against Pablo Andujar or Viktor Troicki, both of which have been struggling lately with the latter another who entered Dallas only to fall to surprise defeat early. In the third round, Tsonga could face Martin Klizan who made surprisingly light work of the Frenchman at the US Open in their only meeting but has struggled this year. David Nalbandian and Jarkko Nieminen face off for the thirteenth time in their careers, with Nalbandian currently holding an 8-4 record. He lost early to Janowicz in Indian Wells but is still capable of surprising some top players so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Argentinian shock Klizan and possibly give Tsonga trouble should they meet. After losing in the second round to Lleyton Hewitt in Indian Wells, John Isner suffered a huge dent to his ranking and is no longer the US No.1 after a disappointing start to the year. The winner of Lukas Lacko-Ivan Dodig will play Isner – while Lacko holds the 2-0 H2H advantage it is Dodig who is in the better form, making at least the 3rd round of four of his six tournaments to date. Wildcard Rhyne Williams has a winnable match against Santiago Giraldo, who has won just once in five attempts on hard courts this year. Marin Cilic awaits the winner- the Croatian looked comfortable against Milos Raonic before a surprise collapse at the end of the second set saw him eventually lose in three to the big serving Canadian.

A finalist last year, Andy Murray will be expected to get there again this year given his No.2 seeding. His section of the draw has somewhat of a “future of the ATP” feel to it with three of the talented youngsters many expect to see challenging for the top 10 and further in years to come. Assuming a qualifier doesn’t spring a surprise, Bernard Tomic awaits in round two. Murray defeated Tomic with ease in early 2012 and while he showed promise to begin the year taking a title in Sydney, Tomic outside of Australia doesn’t seem to hit the heights he does in his home country. Murray defeated potential round three opponent Grigor Dimitrov in the final of Brisbane, the Bulgarian’s best tournament performance to date. He took Novak Djokovic to a first set tie break in Indian Wells before falling to a 7-6 6-1 defeat. Dimitrov plays either Simone Bolelli or Jesse Levine. Jerzy Janowicz has had a decent start to the year after the hype surrounding his run to the final in Paris but has come up short when facing top 20 players in Richard Gasquet, Nicolas Almagro and Tomas Berdych. It would be a surprise to see Thomaz Bellucci end his bad run against the Pole while WC Christian Harrison is somewhat of an unknown quantity at this level. The brother of Ryan does however have a Futures title to his name this year. Andreas Seppi rounds off the seeds in the draw, facing either Benjamin Becker or Aljaz Bedene. Becker has lost his last five at all levels but does have a win over Bedene this year, winning in four at the Australian Open.

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