Master 1000 Miami: Djokovic may face Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Miami: Djokovic may face Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS – Nineteen of the top 20 best ranked players feature in the Sony Open in Miami including World Number 1 Rafa Nadal, defending champion Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, respectively champion and finalista t last week’s Indian Wells. The possible quarter finals are Nadal- Del Potro, Wawrinka- Berdych, Federer- Ferrer (or Dimitrov) and Djokovic- Murray Diego Sampaolo

 

Nadal, who is looking to his first Miami title, has been drawn in the first quarter and could face either Juan Martin Del Potro or Milos Raonic in the quarter final. Nadal will make his debut against either Lleyton Hewitt, who is looking to reach his 600th milestone career match win, or Dutchman Robin Haase.

Nadal has been drawn in the same quarter as two rising stars born in the 1990s Jerzy Janowicz and Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and Juan Martin Del Potro. Nadal’s possible third round rival could be Italian top player Fabio Fognini who will face either Jerzy Janowicz or Roberto Bautista Agut. .

Del Potro will start his campaign against either Ryan Harrison or Federico Delbonis.

The second quarter of the draw features this year’s Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and 2010 Miami finalist Tomas Berdych who may square off in the quarter finals. It could be a re-match of this year’s Australian Open semifinal.

Wawrinka faces a tough path as he may play against Marin Cilic, who won two tournaments and 20 matches in 2014, in the third round and last week’s Indian Wells semifinalist Aleksander Dolgopolov in the fourth round. Dolgopolov beat Rafa Nadal in the third round and lost against Roger Federer in the semifinal in the Californian desert. The Ukrainian player could face Bernard Tomic in the second round and German veteran Tommy Haas.

Berdych is in the same quarter section as US John Isner, who lost against Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells semifinal last Saturday. Isner could meet either Carlos Berloq or Donald Young in the second round and either Nicolas Almagro or Sam Querrey in the same round.

Nadal and Wawrinka may square off in the semifinal in a potential re-match of this year’s Australian Open final.

Roger Federer, who won two consecutive Miami titles in 2005 and 2006, will start his chase of his third Miami title against Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic and may meet Fernando Verdasco in the third round and Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. The Swiss legend, winner in Dubai and runner-up in Indian Wells last week, could face either last year’s Miami finalist David Ferrer or Bulgarian rising star Grigor Dimitrov (what a match could be between the Basel Maestro and his Bulgarian heir) in the quarter final. Federer has the chance to move up to World Number 4 overtaking Ferrer in the ATP Ranking.

Dimitrov may meet Kei Nishikori in the third round.

Novak Djokovic may face Andy Murray in the quarter final in a clash between two Miami winners of 2011 and 2013. Djokovic, who is bidding to score his second Indian Wells-Miami double after 2011 and his fourth win in Florida, will make his debut against either Jeremy Chardy or Juan Monaco. He could meet Florian Mayer in the third round and in-form Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round. Gulbis is an unpredictable player and could pose a threat to everyone if he is in form as he showed in Indian Wells where he reached the quarter finals after beating Grigor Dimitrov.

Murray, who opens against either Lukas Kubot or Matthew Ebden, will be looking to win his third win in Miami (his traditional training base) after lifting the Trophy in 2009 and 2013. He will defend his title won last year against David Ferrer. In the third round Murray may renew his clash against Czech rising star Jiri Vezely who forced the Dunblane star to the third set last week at Indian Wells. Murray, who has ended his succesful relationship to Ivan Lendl this week, may play against Feliciano Lopez in the third round Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round.

“I am grateful to Ivan for all his hard work over the past two years, the most successful in my career so far. As a team we have learned a lot and it will be definitely be a benefit in the future”, said Murray-

“Working with Andy over the past two years has been a fantastic experience for me. He is a first class guy. Having helped him achieve his goal of winning major titles, I feel liei t is time to concentrate on some of my own projects moving forward, including playing more events around the world, which I am really enjoying. I will be always in Andy’s corner and wish him nothing but great success as he too goes into a new phase of his career”, said Lendl.

Diego Sampaolo

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Sidesteps Question Over Vaccination Status

The Greek also jokes that he will be having less bathroom breaks in Indian Wells due to one particular reason.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has declined to confirm if he has received a COVID-19 vaccination despite previously saying he planned to do so later this year.

 

The world No.3 was questioned about the vaccination during his pre-tournament press conference at Indian Wells on Wednesday. Earlier this year Tsitsipas came under fire after saying he doesn’t see a reason why somebody his age needs to be vaccinated and expressed concerns over the potential side effects. He also added that young people catching COVID-19 is a good thing as it helps build up their immunity. Prompting criticism from various people, including a spokesperson for the Greek government.

However, in recent weeks Tsitsipas has changed his stance on the issue and recently told Antenna TV that he will have his first dose by the end of this year. When asked by a reporter in Indian Wells if he has had it yet, the French Open finalist declined to answer.

I’m sorry but I’m not able to provide any of my medical records,” he said.

Player vaccination rates in tennis are becoming a growing issue amid reports that the Australian Open may only allow fully vaccinated players to participate due to a health mandate which has been implemented by the local government. There is yet to be a formal announcement by Tennis Australia regarding their entry requirements. However, The Age newspaper reports that there is a ‘strong likelihood’ that only vaccinated players will be allowed entry by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Tsitsipas’ immediate focus is on this week’s BNP Paribas Open where he is the second seed behind Daniil Medvedev. Speaking about the conditions, the 23-year-old joked it was ‘very dry’ and therefore he will be having less bathroom breaks during matches. Referring to the recent criticism he has received from some of his peers over the timing of breaks he takes.

“It’s very dry here,” Tsitsipas said.
“That is good for me because I sweat less, which makes for less bathroom breaks, which makes for less complaints. So a very good sign so far,” he added with a smile.

The hope for Tsitsipas is that he will be able to build on his recent experience at the Laver Cup where he helped Europe secure their fourth consecutive title. The event provides players with the opportunity to work alongside each other in a team format. Something Tsitsipas relished but he is ready to get back to singles duty.

“I think team competitions are necessary for our sport and we don’t get to be united a lot,” he said. “We always kind of focus on ourselves and our things and environment and that is what you usually see on Tour. Players doing their own thing. Not much socialising.
“At the Laver Cup, we all get to have dinners together and all get to hang out with each other. Of course, though, we all have our competitiveness and if we get stuck around we might share too much with one another, that is the mentality behind it.”

Tsitsipas is yet to win a main draw match in Indian Wells. He will start his 2021 bid against either qualifier Roberto Marcora or Spain’s Pedro Martinez.

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