SONY OPEN: THE MIAMI STORY..
With the recent BNP Paribas open coming to a thrilling conclusion in the ATP circuit, Miami should come packed with some guaranteed excitement.
Rafa Nadal was upset in a thrilling match against the deserving Dolgopolov. Andy Murray showed his inconsistency yet again but Federer looked sublime for pretty much most of the tournament, only to be beaten by a Lion-hearted Djokovic who was the bookies favourite.
In the Women’s there was a shock win by Flavia Pennetta on a major stage, and a well deserved win. Having beaten Li Na in the semi’s, the injured Radwanska had little chance against her motivated opponent.
Here are the characters to watch out for the Sony Open Miami 2014.
Historically no other woman has been consistently good as Serena Williams in Miami in recent times. She is the ultimate Women’s champion and rightly the favourite for this tournament.
Li Na is the second favourite and I think she may do well to reach at least the quarter finals here. She has been playing a lot of tennis recently and hence, a bit of wear and tear may affect her game. Sharapova is another among the favourites who have been rather inconsistent and will have issues on these windy courts with her serves. The other upcoming major threat to some of the big favourites these days is none other than Simona Halep. She’s got the power and her serves have been slick enough to make her a decent contender for this title. However, the best outsider tip may be Petra Kvitova as she does have the potential to cause upsets when her serves are on target. I think with a price of around 70 on Betfair, she’s definitely worth a punt.
For me, this event will be a flip of a coin between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Novak, for the simple reason that he’s the man to beat on Hard Courts in recent times and he’s always been consistent. I am however giving Nadal a good chance here as he has never won this tournament. He has been the finalist here three times and I feel this could be his year of redemption.
Federer has been the most improved player in recent months as he had already knocked out Djokovic in Dubai, which was a shock to most. He had his chances in the Final of the BNP tournament but I feel windy conditions in Miami is less likely to favour him. Hence he is not my tip for this tourney.
Current champion Andy Murray can be pretty much ignored as a potential winner as his injuries are definitely getting to him. He could have lost in his first and second matches in the BNP tournament against weaker players but somehow managed to turn it around. Against, Raonic, his luck ran out.
Among the rest of the field, Tomas Berdych is likely a threat to any top player. However I feel he is less likely to reach the final. Present Aussie Open Champ Stan Wawrinka has been an injury concern so I am avoiding him as well. The best outsider tip however could be the big serving John Isner who made it a very tough match for Djokovic in the Semis. I think the courts are well suited to his game and reading his serves in windy conditions can be a giant hurdle to even some of the best players.
Winners in a nutshell:
Serena for the WTA.
Kvitova as a possible finalist.
Nadal or Djokovic to win the ATP title!
As always, good luck!