Novak Djokovic topped Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) to take the honours of the BNP Paribas Open, in Indian Wells, first Masters 1000 of the season. A well needed confidence boost for the Serbian, who had a very up-and-down start to 2014.
There is no rest, however, as the action is now transporting itself to Miami, stage of the Sony Open, second Masters 1000 of the year, of which the draw has been made today, with the first round starting on Wednesday. For once, we cannot say that a player is more favoured than the others, as every top gun has a few obstacles on the way.
One thing is for sure: we will not have a rematch of the 2013 final, as defending champion Andy Murray and last year’s runner-up David Ferrer could meet in semifinals… if they get there.
Rafael Nadal’s half
World n°1 Rafael Nadal will be looking to add one of the rare big titles still eluding him, and if we had to elect the one who has the “easiest” draw among the top players, it would definitely be the Spaniard, who was not the most convincing in Indian Wells. The biggest threats in his quarter might come from Fabio Fognini and Milos Raonic. Juan Martín del Potro, seeded 8, is also in Nadal’s quarter. However, del Potro is still recovering from a left wrist injury, which forced him out of Indian Wells, and has yet to decide if he is recovered enough to play in Miami.
The other quarter represents a huge test for Stanislas Wawrinka. The Australian Open champion, who struggled a little in Indian Wells and fell to Kevin Anderson in the round of 16, might well face a very in-form Marin Cilic as soon as the third round, and could face red-hot Aleksandr Dolgopolov in the round-of-16, with a potential quarter-final against Tomas Berdych or John Isner. An extremely tricky draw for the World n°3.
Novak Djokovic’s half
After spending the last fortnight with coach Marian Vajda and regaining some of his momentum with the Indian Wells title, Novak Djokovic is back working with Boris Becker for this tournament, which raises a few questions. However, the Serbian has a good start, as he will begin his Miami campaign against the winner of the meeting between Jérémy Chardy and Juan Mónaco. His biggest test might come in the form or Ernests Gulbis, a possible round-of-16 encounter, before a potential quarter-final match against defending champion Andy Murray.
However, Murray’s section is comprised of trap after trap, starting in the third round, where he could meet Feliciano López, before a potential round-of-16 encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
For his part, fourth seed David Ferrer is coming back from an injury sustained in Acapulco, and which forced him to withdraw from Indian Wells. If the Spaniard should ease into his draw without too many problems, things will assuredly get complicated in the round-of-16, where he might well face Grigor Dimitrov.
Things are a little trickier for Roger Federer, as the fifth seed might face Ivo Karlovic, Fernando Verdasco, and Richard Gasquet or Kevin Anderson on his way to the quarter-finals. However, if Federer is well rested from his Indian Wells final, he should get to the quarters without too many problems.
The word is now yours
It is now time for you to make your Miami predictions. Who will win the Sony Open? Take our poll and let us know what you think of the draw.
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