Daniil Medvedev can return to the World No. 1 spot after Miami but will need at least a semi final to jump back above Novak Djokovic – who stays still due to not competing here last year. Andy Murray faces the Russian next and it will be interesting to see the level of the Scot who plays a top 3 player for just the second time since 2017.
Medvedev will be back to the top sooner or later regardless of this week but it does feel like his swagger has been knocked a bit by the Australian Open loss. Nadal added another notch in Mexico but it was the loss to Gael Monfils at Indian Wells that came as a bigger shock, losing in three sets to the Frenchman. “I didn’t manage to play my best there, so that’s why I lost. That’s why I lost the No. 1 spot. If I manage to play good tennis here, I think I have my chances of getting it back.” he said.
With a top seed waiting, it does look like Murray will follow the pattern of his previous four tournaments where he won his first match before losing to a seeded player. He beat Federico Delbonis in straight sets to begin the tournament, not even giving up a break point to a player more comfortable on clay courts.
Medvedev won their only meeting prior at the 2019 Brisbane tournament, taking it in straight sets. With Murray’s body unable to match the intensity from the baseline he would like, it should only be a matter of time before Medvedev takes control and wins this one in a fairly easy manner.
Prediction – Daniil Medvedev in straight sets