Main draw play has begun at the 2015 Miami Masters, a tournament that is also known as the Miami Open. Action on Wednesday, which saw several first-round matches completed, did not feature any of the key players in the draw. However the top players are scheduled to begin their efforts in Miami soon, including tournament favorite and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, a winner in Miami on four previous occasions, is fresh off of a title from Indian Wells last week. The Serbinator appears to be all the more convincing of a favorite given that the Miami draw is without Roger Federer, Djokovic’s main hard court rival. Another key hard courter missing from the tournament is Marin Cilic, the reigning US Open champion.
With Federer missing from the draw Andy Murray, a finalist from Melboure Park in January, is considered to be the second favorite in Miami. The Scot has won the Masters Series 1000 event a couple of times, including recently as he won the event in 2013. However Murray has also had some poor showings at the tournament, with losses to Alex Bogomolov Jr., Mardy Fish, and Mario Ancic.
Murray, the third seed in Miami, is opposite the draw of Djokovic and hence the two players could not meet until the final. But if the tournament’s seeds held up then tennis fans would have plenty of matches to look forward to ahead of the final. The quarterfinals, which would be played next week, could look like this:
Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal will always make major headlines whenever they are a part of a tennis tournament. However a major story in Miami this week has to do with another player, one not seeded in the tournament. Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro is set to make his return to competitive tennis having only contested one event since ATP Dubai 2014. Delpo, who is currently ranked just 616th in the world, is starving for ranking points and he’ll be looking for some wins in a big tour event to get back into contention on tour.
But having not played much competitive tennis in the last year, the Argentine will do well in Miami just to make the second round. Del Potro will face Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the opening round with the winner to face 9th seeded Grigor Dimitrov. That isn’t exactly the kind of draw you want if you are looking to find a groove and it could make Delpo’s American hard court swing a very short one.
Americans in the event are numerous however there are virtually none with a reasonable chance of winning the 2015 Miami Masters. John Isner remains the biggest hope for the USA, however he’s well outside of the top ten favorites in the event. Sportingbet, a sportsbook, have Isner priced at 150 to 1 to win the 2015 Miami Masters, odds that may underrate him a tad.
Other Americans in the draw include Ryan Harrison, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, and Tim Smyczek. All of those players combined might only have about a 2% chance of winning the tournament although Jack Sock, who won his first round match, could negotiate his way to the fourth round as he now shares a section with Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem, and Feliciano Lopez.
The final of the 2015 Miami Masters is scheduled for Sunday, April 5th. From the onset it clearly appears to be Djokovic’s tournament to lose, especially with Federer missing from the draw.