It’s safe to say Indian Wells did not turn out as predicted. Not many would have predicted a third round exit for Novak Djokovic or a great comeback win for Dominic Thiem over Roger Federer in the final. On the women’s side, few thought Bianca Andreescu would defeat Angelique Kerber to win her maiden title. If there was a 5th Major on the tennis scene, it would be a toss up between Indian wells and upcoming Miami no doubt. Sensational wins for Thiem and Andreescu, lets see what they can produce in Miami.
Djokovic will, of course, start as the number 1 seed in Miami, while Federer will be 4th seed. Sandwiched between them are Thiem ans Zverev. Djokovic and Federer are in opposing halves so cannot meet until the final. Rafa Nadal will not play in Miami after a disappointing withdrawal from the semi finals at Indian Wells. He has set his sights on a return in April as the Clay season gets into full swing.
Federer will likely face Wawrinka, whom he beat at Indian Wells, Daniil Medvedev and likely Karen Khachanov in the quarter finals. If he is to get to the final his most likely semi final opponents will be Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas. Roger normally would be able for these guys but as time passes, they become bigger obstacles. Federer was eliminated in the first round last year, so who knows what will happen.
Like Federer, Djokovic was also eliminated in the first round last year. And like Federer, his draw looks tricky. Berdych, Millman and Agut are his likely opponents before a possible quarter final clash against Raonic, and semi final against Indian Wells Champion Thiem.
The bookies will tell you Djokovic will win the final against Federer. That’s the easy conclusion. However, I expect players to attack Djokovic and try to take advantage of a great player in a slightly vulnerable state of mind. I’m going for the same final as Indian Wells but Federer to take the title this time.