After 2 exciting finals at Indian Wells, we move on to one of the favourite tournaments (as voted by a lot of players) at Miami, Florida.
Let’s have a brief look at what awaits us in Florida this year.
Defending Champion: Serena Williams
The world number 1 has won an amazing 7 titles at Miami in her career. No doubt she likes these courts and is bound to be the favourite.
Serena’s route looks rather straightforward in the earlier rounds and a possible 4th round clash with either Kerber or Kuznetsova. In the quarter finals, she could end up facing Muguruza or Ivanovic.
This would be a match to watch as both these players are immensely talented on hard courts and have troubled Serena in the past. In the Semi’s she will face Indian Wells champ Simona Halep assuming the Romanian gets through her matches without any issues. One contender that is worth mentioning is Bouchard who is in the same draw as Halep.
On the bottom half of the draw, I would pick only 3 players to challenge her. They are A.Radwanska, Venus Williams and Sharapova. While Radwanska’s form has been rather wobbly, Venus could provide some entertainment this year at Miami.
However, the 2nd seed Maria Sharapova, is a 5 time runner up here and is playing some of her best tennis and could very well rejuvenate herself to meet her arch rival in the Finals.
Overall, I am predicting Serena Williams to complete a hatrick of titles at Miami this year!
Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic
Novak has won this title 4 times. On current form, and with Federer not playing this tournament, I simply must go for him to defend his title!
I just can’t see Djokovic having any trouble till the Quarter Finals where he could face David Ferrer. Assuming he gets through that, Nishikori or Raonic could be his next challenge in the Semis.
After that, it’s just about 2 players who could really challenge him, Murray (assuming the Scot gets past Wawrinka) and Nadal.
If Murray indeed meets him again, I must go for the Serbian to win the battle.
However, for me the real challenge, could come from Rafa Nadal. I was thoroughly impressed by Rafa’s overall game and especially his return of serves. It was a bit unfortunate that he lost to Raonic after having so many chances to kill that match. Who knows what could have happened had Nadal beaten Roger to get to the final at Indian Wells. Any ways, this time, I feel the Spanish Bull is likely to be more thirsty.
Interestingly, Nadal has never won this tournament and have been a runner up 4 times which gives more reason as to why he is a great bet!
I must admit, as much as I would love Rafa to win a title here, I just can’t see that happening. Simply putting, I can’t ignore Novak’s recent form.
His on court attitude have been spot on in every way and the serves have been firing in perfectly. And to make it worse for all his opponents, you need a miracle to beat this guy in 2 sets. Longer the match goes, Novak is going to find a way to win it just as Federer found out.
Novak Djokovic for the win in Florida!