Five Things To Watch Out For In The Miami Open Men’s Draw - UBITENNIS
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Five Things To Watch Out For In The Miami Open Men’s Draw

With a pay cheque of $1,354,010 at stake for the winner, here is the storylines to follow this year in Miami.



Novak Djokovic (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

2019 marks the dawn of a new era for the 35th edition of the Miami Open.


From this year, the event will be hosted at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens after previously being held in Key Biscayne for 21 years. The venue is known best as the home to NFL team Miami Dolphins and will host the prestigious Super Bowl in 2020. Following its development into a tennis venue, a temporary 14,000 capacity premier court has been built within the stadium. There are also 27 further courts built around it.

The men’s draw for the tournament took place on Monday with plenty is interest surrounding the top names in the sport. Here are five things to following throughout the Masters 1000 tournament.

Novak’s shot at history

Novak Djokovic is the most successful player in the history of the tournament alongside Andre Agassi with six titles each. This year he will be bidding to become the most decorated male player in the history of the Miami Open with a seventh title.

The world No.1 will be keen to make up for a disappointing run in Indian Wells, where he was stunned in the third round by Philipp Kohlschreiber. Making it the first time he has failed to reach at least the quarter-finals of an event since the Canadian Open in August.

“I’m going to have Marian (Vajda), my coach, joining us in Miami.” Djokovic told reporters last week. “There is plenty of time until my first singles match there. Things to work on, without a doubt. I’m not at my highest level. I know that. But I’m slowly building, and hopefully I’ll be able to peak in Miami.”

Whilst it is expected that the Serbian will rapidly recover from his recent misfortunes, he needs to keep his guard up in the draw. Djokovic’s opening match could be against Tomas Berdych, who has he defeated in 25 out of their 28 meetings. Providing Berdych defeats the unpredictable Bernard Tomic in his opening match. Further, in the draw, the top seed could face challenges from John Millman and Roberto Bautista Agut. Although there are other threats lurking in his section, including defending champion John Isner being a possible quarter-final opponent.

Djokovic currently has a win-loss record of 42-6 in the tournament. He made his debut back in 2006.

Federer on course for Wawrinka test

After being denied the Indian Wells title by Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer aims to get back on track. He will be hoping that history will not repeat itself after getting knocked out in the second round of the tournament 12 months ago.

“Everybody’s got to get used to center court or the conditions at the new site. I’m eager to find out how it’s going to be like.” The three-time champion said about the new venue.
“I feel really good, so why shouldn’t I go into the tournament and to the event confident? But then again, we’ll see what the draw is like. We will see how I feel in six days. There is still a lot of open question marks.”

Federer’s path to the title could see him lock horns once again with Stan Wawrinka in the third round. A player he defeated in straight sets only last week. He could start against Australia’s Matthew Ebden, who plays a qualifier in his opening match.

“I’m going to Miami. The body is perfectly fine. That also always keeps me upbeat, and I feel it’s a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament.”

Making his debut back in 1999, Federer has won 50 main draw matches at the tournament and last won the title in 2017.

Thiem’s sunshine double bid

Fresh off winning his maiden Masters 1000 title, Dominic Thiem is aiming to continue his winning momentum. After a lacklustre start to the season due to illness, the Austrian defeated four seeded players on route to the Indian Wells title, including his third career win over Federer.

“What makes me happy that I turned pretty bad start to the season to a very good one. I’m back in the top 8 in the race. I’m 4 in the rankings, which is my best ranking. So I turned it from really bad into really good.” Said Thiem.

Thiem now has the chance of achieving the sunshine double, where a player wins both Indian Wells and Miami within the same month. The milestone is a rare occurrence in the sport. In fact, only seven men and three women has achieved it.

Thiem’s draw has ensured that he will play nobody ranked higher than 16th seed Gael Monfils until at least the quarter-final stage. Monfils is currently recovering from an Achilles injury. The 25-year-old has only made it to the quarter-finals of Miami in one out of four attempts. However, it has been reported by some that the courts at the Hard Rock venue are slower. Something that favours Thiem’s game.

The Next gen clan

20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas didn’t have a pleasant experience in his first match as a top 10 player. Losing in straight sets to Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is another rapidly rising star of the men’s game. Seeking to make up for it in Miami, Tsitsipas will be playing in a Masters 1000 main draw for only the 12th time in his career.

Seeded eighth in the draw, the Greek is hoping to reach the quarter-final of a Masters event for only the second time in his career. In order to do that, he may need to overcome either Denis Shapovalov or Marin Cilic in the third round. He could play fellow Next Gen player Ugo Humbert in his opening match if the Frenchman wins his first round match against a yet-to-be decided qualifier.

28th seed Frances Tiafoe in the youngest American player in the top 100. He faces a potentially tricky start to his campaign. Awaiting him will be either former French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis or ex junior world No.1 Miomir Kecmanović. Kecmanović was a surprised quarter-finalist in Indian Wells.

List next gen players in the top 100 (w/c 18/3/2019)

Playing 2019 Miami Open
57 Felix Auger-Aliassime 18 Yes
23 Denis Shapovalov 19 yes
95 Miomir Kecmanovic 19 yes
10 Stefanos Tsitsipas 20 yes
26 Alex de Minaur 20 no
63 Ugo Humbert 20 yes
98 Casper Ruud 20 yes
3 Alexander Zverev 21 yes
34 Frances Tiafoe 21 yes
56 Taylor Fritz 21 yes
58 Reilly Opelka 21 yes
61 Jaume Munar 21 yes
99 Andrey Rublev 21 yes

Crunch time for 2018 finalists

Reigning champion Isner and runner-up Alexander Zverev will be feeling the pressure in the tournament. Isner, who has won one title since his triumph in Miami 12 months ago, is defending 1000 points. Meanwhile, Zverev is defending 600.

Isner has enjoyed a solid start to 2019 be winning 10 out of 16 matches player. Reaching the semi-finals of three consecutive tournaments before losing in the third round at Indian Wells to Karen Khachanov. Nevertheless, Isner must advance to at least the semi-finals in Miami to have a chance of remaining in the world’s top 10. A position he has held since September 10th 2018.

Meanwhile, Zverev has already contested a final on the tour this season at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. However, the German has been hindered by illness recently and looked far from his best during his latest match on the tour.

This year Isner is seeded seventh and Zverev second.


Roland Garros Daily Preview: The Women’s Semifinals



Iga Swiatek doing her best Hulk Hogan impression on Wednesday (

Are we just one round away from World No.1 Iga Swiatek facing World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in a humungous women’s final?


On Thursday in Paris, Swiatek and Sabalenka are both favorites to win their semifinals.  But Beatriz Haddad Maia and Karolina Muchova both provide challenging styles of play, and their chances should not be overlooked.

Also, the mixed doubles championship match will be staged, featuring an inspiring redemption story, and the 2019 US Open women’s singles champion.

Karolina Muchova vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Sabalenka is 34-5 this season, and is vying for her sixth final of the year, and her 13th consecutive win at a Major.  After losing her first three Slam semifinals, all by the score of 6-4 in the third, she broke through this past January in Melbourne with a straight-set victory over Magda Linette.  Aryna has claimed all 10 sets she’s played this fortnight.

Muchova is 22-7 on the year, and is into the second Major semifinal of her career.  She first achieved this feat two years ago at the Australian Open, when she lost a three-set semifinal to Jennifer Brady.  Karolina has dropped one set to this stage, and notably upset another Roland Garros semifinalist, Maria Sakkari, in the first round.

They’ve only played once before, four years ago on a hard court in Zhuhai, with Sabalenka prevailing in a tight two-setter.  Muchova’s variety is often quite effective in disrupting her opponents.  But based on the confidence Aryna has been playing with, her huge game makes her the favorite to reach a second consecutive Major final.

Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (14) – Last on Court Philippe Chatrier

Swiatek is 33-6 in 2023, and is looking for her fifth final of the season.  She is 17-2 on clay this year, and 26-2 lifetime at Roland Garros.  And Iga has been completely dominant this fortnight, losing only 17 games across nine sets.  She holds a 3-1 record in Major semifinals.

This is entirely new territory for Haddad Maia.  Prior to this tournament, she was 0-7 in the second round of Slams.  But she’s now 22-11 this year, after winning four consecutive three-setters at this event, and upsetting Ons Jabeur on Wednesday.

Beatriz is actually 1-0 against Iga, having defeated her 7-5 in the third last summer in Toronto.  She utilizes her lefty-ness well, and was intelligently aggressive during pivotal times of her match against Jabeur.  But on this surface, and in a match of this magnitude, Swiatek is a considerable favorite to reach her third Roland Garros final.

Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Miyu Kato and Tim Puetz vs. Bianca Andreescu and Michael Venus – Kato was defaulted from the women’s doubles draw after hitting a ball girl with a ball, but has owned that error and earned a lot of goodwill in the process.  This is a first Major final in any discipline for Kati and Puetz, while Venus won the men’s doubles title at this event six years ago, and Andreescu’s resume is well-documented.

Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Ons Jabeur Admits Rushing Back From Injury After Roland Garros Exit

Ons Jabeur has admitted she rushed back from injury just to play Roland Garros as she exited the tournament in the quarter-finals.



Ons Jabeur (@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Ons Jabeur admitted to rushing back from injury during the clay court season after exiting Roland Garros.


The Tunisian is out of the second Grand Slam of the season after a three set defeat to Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Jabeur had control of the majority of the first two sets but a third set capitulation saw her clay court season end in disappointing fashion.

After the match Jabeur admitted it was disappointing to lose but is proud of her tournament in Paris, “We always want to do better, unless we win the title, you know,” Jabeur said in her post-match press conference.

“Yeah, I mean, I think it is a great tournament. I honestly wasn’t expecting to be in the quarterfinals. Especially this is kind of my first tournament after being injured.

“I think it was good. I was trying to push myself until the end, but I think pretty satisfied with the results. You always want to push for more, but I mean hopefully next time will be better, and no more quarterfinal here at the French Open.”

Despite the result Jabeur can be proud of her efforts as she looks to build on a positive week and a half in Paris ahead of the grass court season.

Jabeur also commented on her physical state after a gruelling tournament in Paris.

The Tunisian said nothing is hurting but admitted she wanted to rush back from her injury in order to be back for Roland Garros, “Yeah, thank God, there is nothing hurting. I didn’t have much time to prepare for especially clay season because it’s more physical than any other surface,” Jabeur admitted.

“I’m feeling okay. I think I rushed my way back on tour, but that’s because I wanted to be ready for the French Open. You know, like all the training and the physical training, maybe I didn’t have enough time to prepare for that, but I did my maximum. I did what I could do in a short time period.

“But, yeah, she probably played longer than me, but she’s a beast, and I wish her all the best. I mean, honestly, what she’s doing for — I feel like my story and her story are a little bit similar. I’m very happy for her and for Brazil, and hopefully she can do much more for her country.

“But, yeah, for me now I’m going to try to rest a little bit and be ready, but I’m good for now.”

Jabeur will look to be physically fit ready for the grass court season where she looks to defend her performance from last year where she reached the final.

The Tunisian outlined her grass court season towards the end of the press conference and admitted she’s hoping to play doubles with Venus Williams having played with Serena Williams last year, “Yeah, for now I think I’m going to have the same schedule. Berlin, Eastbourne,” Jabeur said.

“Maybe Venus wants to play doubles there. I’m not sure. She didn’t ask me yet. Then Wimbledon. Just trying to play as much matches as I can. To be honest with you, I want to enjoy playing on grass because I do enjoy a lot. I have my brother’s wedding before, so I’m going to party for a bit and just be ready.

“I’m hoping to go and get the title really in Wimbledon. I’m dreaming about it. It’s something that I always wanted. Last year was unfortunate because I was very close. When I put something in my mind, I know I can do it, so it’s definitely here.”

Jabeur will look to achieve her dream when Wimbledon takes place on the 3rd of July.

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Iga Swiatek Downs Gauff To Set Haddad Maia Semi-Final At Roland Garros

Iga Swiatek reaches her third Roland Garros semi-final with a straight sets win over Coco Gauff.



Iga Swiatek (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

World number one Iga Swiatek is into the semi-finals at Roland Garros for a third time after defeating Coco Gauff 6-4 6-2.


The Pole extended her head-to-head over the American to 7-0 and 14-0 in sets as her title defence will continue into the final four.

It was a valiant effort by the American but ultimately fell short of reaching the semi-finals for a second consecutive year.

Next for Swiatek is Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who defeated Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals.

It was a positive start from Gauff as she played aggressive, smart tennis from the beginning to test Swiatek from the baseline.

However the Pole edged to a couple of service holds and would break to love in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead as her returning quality showed.

Gauff provided an immediate response in the next game to break back as she tested Swiatek’s rally tolerance and tested the Pole’s defensive rustiness.

The American was holding onto her service games despite producing below 40% of her first serves.

Swiatek continued to find big points in pressure moments as Gauff was producing some big shots on pressure points.

In the end the Pole’s returning presence and quality showed as she broke for the set with Gauff producing a number of errors.

There was a slight moment of hope for the American at the start of the second set as she overcame the poor end to the first set with some effective point construction.

Last year’s finalist set up three break points but made some fairly erratic errors as any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out.

Swiatek remained aggressive, proactive and produced world-class depth to take advantage of Gauff’s error-prone game.

The Pole’s level of play intensified and improved as she sealed too late breaks of serve in impressive fashion as she claimed victory in 90 minutes.

Speaking after the match Swiatek said the match wasn’t easy but was happy to get through, “For sure, it wasn’t easy – the first set, especially, was really tight and Coco was really using the conditions here,” Swiatek was quoted by the BBC as saying.

“I’m pretty happy I was able to work on it and win this match because quarter-finals are sometimes the toughest matches. Even though Coco is young, she is experienced so I’m pretty happy to be in the semi-final.

“We play many tournaments in the year where we have to play day after day but I’m pretty fresh because, as you saw in previous matches. I didn’t really spend too much time on court so I’m actually happy today was a tighter match.

“I will be ready no matter what and not having a day off was something that I knew since the beginning of the tournament so I am ready for this situation.”

Another tough loss for Gauff to take as Swiatek seals her place in the semi-finals in Paris for a third time.

Next for Swiatek will be Beatriz Haddad Maia tomorrow.

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