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Federer, Halep and Kvitova In Action Monday at the Miami Open

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Federer, Halep and Kvitova In Action Monday at the Miami Open


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Roger Federer continues his quest for his fourth Miami Open title on Monday when he will take on Filip Krajinovic from Serbia. Krajinovic reached the 4th round this year at Indian Wells and is hoping to equal that performance in Miami.

Prior to the Federer match, Petra Kvitova will face off against Caroline Garcia. Her best result to date in Miami is a quarter final appearance in 2014. Kvitova can achieve the world number 1 ranking if she wins the title on Saturday.

The last day session match on Stadium court will see world number 2 Simona Halep take on Venus Williams. Halep’s best showing in Miami was a semifinal appearance in 2015. Venus has hoisted the Miami Open trophy on 3 prior occasions.

The night session will feature Frances Tiafoe versus David Ferrer followed by Karolina Pliskova versus Yulia Putintseva.

Here is the complete order of play for March 25, 2019

STADIUM start 12:00 noon

WTA – [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [19] C. Garcia (FRA) 

Not Before 1:00 pm

ATP – F. Krajinovic (SRB) vs [4] R. Federer (SUI)
Not Before 4:00 pm

WTA – V. Williams (USA) vs [2] S. Halep (ROU) 

Not Before 7:30 pm

ATP – [28] F. Tiafoe (USA) vs [WC] D. Ferrer (ESP) 

Not Before 9:00 pm

WTA – [5] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs Y. Putintseva (KAZ)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon

ATP – [6] K. Anderson (RSA) vs J. Sousa (POR) 

Not Before 2:00 pm

WTA – [27] S. Hsieh (TPE) vs [13] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 

ATP – [20] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [Q] A. Rublev (RUS) 

ATP – [8] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs L. Mayer (ARG) 

Not Before 7:00 pm

WTA – M. Vondrousova (CZE) vs T. Maria (GER)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

ATP – [24] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs J. Thompson (AUS) 

WTA – [21] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs B. Andreescu (CAN) 

ATP – [13] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [Q] R. Opelka (USA) 

ATP – [14] M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs [18] D. Goffin (BEL) 

WTA – Y. Wang (CHN) vs [18] Q. Wang (CHN)

BUTCH BUCHHOLZ COURT start 11:00 am

WTA – [12] A. Barty (AUS) vs [7] K. Bertens (NED) 

ATP – M. Middelkoop (NED) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs I. Dodig (CRO) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 

ATP – R. Albot (MDA) / N. Basilashvili (GEO) vs [5] O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) 

After Suitable Rest – [1] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs G. Pella (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR) 

ATP – [3] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs N. Jarry (CHI) / F. Skugor (CRO)

COURT 6 start 12:00 noon

WTA – [8] H. Chan (TPE) / L. Chan (TPE) vs V. Kudermetova (RUS) / D. Schuurs (NED) 

WTA – S. Aoyama (JPN) / L. Marozava (BLR) vs B. Bencic (SUI) / D. Kasatkina (RUS) 

WTA – TBA – [3] S. Hsieh (TPE) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs E. Mertens (BEL) / A. Sabalenka (BLR

STADIUM start 12:00 noon

WTA – [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [19] C. Garcia (FRA) 

Not Before 1:00 pm

ATP – F. Krajinovic (SRB) vs [4] R. Federer (SUI) 

Not Before 4:00 pm

WTA – V. Williams (USA) vs [2] S. Halep (ROU) 

Not Before 7:30 pm

ATP – [28] F. Tiafoe (USA) vs [WC] D. Ferrer (ESP) 

Not Before 9:00 pm

WTA – [5] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) vs Y. Putintseva (KAZ)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon

ATP – [6] K. Anderson (RSA) vs J. Sousa (POR) 

Not Before 2:00 pm

WTA – [27] S. Hsieh (TPE) vs [13] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 

ATP – [20] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [Q] A. Rublev (RUS) 

ATP – [8] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs L. Mayer (ARG) 

Not Before 7:00 pm

WTA – M. Vondrousova (CZE) vs T. Maria (GER)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am

ATP – [24] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs J. Thompson (AUS) 

WTA – [21] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs B. Andreescu (CAN) 

ATP – [13] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs [Q] R. Opelka (USA) 

ATP – [14] M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs [18] D. Goffin (BEL) 

WTA – Y. Wang (CHN) vs [18] Q. Wang (CHN)

BUTCH BUCHHOLZ COURT start 11:00 am

WTA – [12] A. Barty (AUS) vs [7] K. Bertens (NED) 

ATP – M. Middelkoop (NED) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs I. Dodig (CRO) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 

ATP – R. Albot (MDA) / N. Basilashvili (GEO) vs [5] O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) 

After Suitable Rest – [1] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs G. Pella (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR) 

ATP – [3] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs N. Jarry (CHI) / F. Skugor (CRO)

COURT 6 start 12:00 noon

WTA – [8] H. Chan (TPE) / L. Chan (TPE) vs V. Kudermetova (RUS) / D. Schuurs (NED) 

WTA – S. Aoyama (JPN) / L. Marozava (BLR) vs B. Bencic (SUI) / D. Kasatkina (RUS) 

WTA – TBA – [3] S. Hsieh (TPE) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs E. Mertens (BEL) / A. Sabalenka (BLR

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Federer Fends Off Albut to Advance to the Third Round at the Miami Open

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Federer Fends Off Albut to Advance to the Third Round at the Miami Open


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Three time Miami Open and holder of 20 majors Roger Federer struggled today in his opening match. Still, in the end, the Swiss put away qualifier Radu Albot 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to move on to the third round at the Miami Open.

Playing someone for the first time can be a tricky, Federer dropped the opening game of the match and could not bank on any of the four break points he manufactured. Consequently, Albot, who secured his first ATP tile this year in Delray Beach, grew in confidence. Federer finally capitalized on break point in the second set to push the match to a third set. Once again, in the last set, one break point in Federer’s favor was the difference.

Federer pinpointed that his struggles stemmed from the fact that ” I felt like I was in two minds, how you play sometimes in a first round. You’re looking to take on the ball, but then sometimes you also know you just cannot go big all the time. You also have to hold back. Sometimes you feel like it happens always at the wrong times. You pull the trigger at the wrong times. You’re going safe at the wrong times. That has something to do with how I thought he played his game. He seemed very clear to me, and I wasn’t. In the heat of the moment, I started forgetting stuff also that my coach told me. I felt like all the important points, points that could have led to something interesting for me, I played poorly because I was in two minds. . . I thought actually how I protected my serve, after getting broken in the first game, was actually very good. There’s definitely really some good elements there in the game, but I did struggle obviously. I’m very, very happy that I found a way.”

In addition to the opponent, there was the venue to contend with “there’s definitely always a slight sort of buzz in the stadium. I think it’s more because of the size and the ventilation. You feel there’s always a bit of a noise there, which is sometimes a bit unusual for tennis. Of course, indoors you get that more often. We do have it occasionally. . .a very key element of our sport is you can hear a pin drop. . .Here it’s not so much the case. When somebody hits the ball, it’s not as clear maybe, which then can feel almost like it’s a little bit of an empty space. That can feel maybe a little bit different. I didn’t feel like it was totally something out of the ordinary where I had no clue where my boundaries were, like I’ve had maybe at some other courts from around the world in the past. I’ve gotten used to it quite quickly. . .it’s a big place. I mean, the side stands are huge. It goes far away. It’s unusual to have it that way. I would have thought maybe they would put it in the corner, the stadium, instead of on the long side. Still it was a good atmosphere.”

Stanislas Wawrinka, Federer’s countryman, was not as fortunate. The three time major champion fell in the day’s initial match to Filip Krajinovic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 spoiling the all Swiss third round collision. Wawrinka led in the tiebreaker 5-2 and lost the next five points.

Other notable upsets include 9th seed Marin Cilic who went down to qualifier Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-4. Tenth seed Karen Khachanov was sent packing by Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-3. American qualifier Reilly Opelka stunned 21st seed Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. While 20th seed Denis Shapovalov squeezed by lucky loser Daniel Evans 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Also, moving onto third round are Kevin Anderson who toughed it out against Jaime Munar in three sets. Grigor Dimitrov had no trouble with Feliciano Lopez. The Bulgarina dismissed the Spaniard in 60 minutes, 6-1, 6-3. Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 13th seed Danil Medvedev, Leonardo Mayer, 18th seed David Goffin and Joao Sousa booked their bid into round three in straight sets.

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Saturday Finds Federer in the Spotlight at the Miami Open

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Saturday Finds Federer in the Spotlight at the Miami Open


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Following a first round bye, Roger Federer, a three time champion comes out for his initial match in the new home of the Miami Open. The Swiss will clash with qualifier Radu Albot in the afternoon. This will be their first encounter.

Beforehand, Federer’s countryman, 3 time Major champion Stanislas Wawrinka kicks off the day session in stadium court. Wawrinka collides with Serb Filip Krajinovic. The two have yet to play at this tour level.

The night schedule features 2013 French Open finalist David Ferrer against Alexander Zverev ranked number two. The German has prevailed in four of their prior six meetings

Other players who will be displaying their talent as they fight for a place in the third round include 2019 Australian quarterfinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2 time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, 2014 U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic and American hopeful Australian Open quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe.

Here is the order of play for Saturday March 23, 2019:

STADIUM start 12:00 noon
ATP – [30] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs F. Krajinovic (SRB)
WTA – [1] N. Osaka (JPN) vs [27] S. Hsieh (TPE)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Albot (MDA) vs [4] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [WC] D. Ferrer (ESP) vs [2] A. Zverev (GER)

Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – B. Andreescu (CAN) vs [8] A. Kerber (GER)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [26] D. Vekic (CRO)
ATP – [24] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs F. Lopez (ESP)
WTA – [Q] M. Niculescu (ROU) vs [13] C. Wozniacki (DEN)
ATP – [8] S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs [LL] M. McDonald (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – A. Tomljanovic (AUS) vs [21] A. Kontaveit (EST)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – [20] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [LL] D. Evans (GBR)
ATP – [6] K. Anderson (RSA) vs J. Munar (ESP)
ATP – [Q] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [9] M. Cilic (CRO)
WTA – V. Kuzmova (SVK) vs [7] K. Bertens (NED)
ATP – [28] F. Tiafoe (USA) vs [WC] M. Kecmanovic (SRB)
After Suitable Rest – [3] S. Hsieh (TPE) / B. Strycova (CZE) vs K. Christian (USA) / A. Muhammad (USA)

BUTCH BUCHHOLZ COURT start 11:00 am
WTA – [19] C. Garcia (FRA) vs [15] J. Goerges (GER)
ATP – J. Thompson (AUS) vs [10] K. Khachanov (RUS)
WTA – [12] A. Barty (AUS) vs S. Stosur (AUS)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Opelka (USA) vs [21] D. Schwartzman (ARG)
ATP – [3] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs M. Fucsovics (HUN) / R. Jebavy (CZE)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – L. Kichenok (UKR) / N. Kichenok (UKR) vs [WC] A. Anisimova (USA) / A. Riske (USA)
ATP – J. Chardy (FRA) / G. Simon (FRA) vs N. Jarry (CHI) / F. Skugor (CRO)
WTA – D. Jakupovic (SLO) / I. Khromacheva (RUS) vs [5] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN)
After Suitable Rest – R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs A. Krajicek (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL)
WTA – A. Rosolska (POL) / Z. Yang (CHN) vs K. Flipkens (BEL) / J. Larsson (SWE)

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs [31] S. Johnson (USA)
ATP – [13] D. Medvedev (RUS) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – J. Goerges (GER) / S. Halep (ROU) vs [2] T. Babos (HUN) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)
WTA – [8] H. Chan (TPE) / L. Chan (TPE) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Buzarnescu (ROU)
WTA – After suitable rest – [1] B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs [WC] V. Azarenka (BLR) / A. Barty (AUS)

COURT 8 start 11:00 am
ATP – L. Mayer (ARG) vs [26] G. Pella (ARG)
ATP – P. Andujar (ESP) vs [18] D. Goffin (BEL)
ATP – [8] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
After Suitable Rest – G. Pella (ARG) / J. Sousa (POR) vs [WC] T. Fritz (USA) / N. Kyrgios (AUS)
After Suitable Rest – A. Groenefeld (GER) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs M. Niculescu (ROU) / A. Spears (USA)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
ATP – J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [5] O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO)
ATP – [14] M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)
ATP – R. Haase (NED) / D. Inglot (GBR) vs [4] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
WTA – A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / A. Sevastova (LAT) vs V. Kudermetova (RUS) / D. Schuurs (NED)
After Suitable Rest – [1] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs M. Cecchinato (ITA) / A. Molteni (ARG)

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Miami Open: New Home with Same Residents as Serena, Djokovic and Federer Get Acclimated

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Miami Open: New Home with Same Residents as Serena, Djokovic and Federer Get Acclimated


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There was no azure sky to welcome the Miami Open at its new venue as a constant drizzle washed out the first round of play. Nevertheless, two weeks of exhilarating tennis prepare to unfold as many familiar faces will parade through with the goal of capturing the title.

On the gentlemen’s side, three time champion Roger Federer is on a collision course in the quarterfinals with 2018 Wimbledon Finalist Kevin Anderson. The South African surprised the former world number one in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year after Federer was up two sets to none. Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 20 year Greek, who upended Federer a few months ago at the Australian Open could be Federer’s opponent in the semifinals.

Fresh off his biggest title at Indian Wells, Dominic Thiem will attempt to garner the rare sunshine double. However, he will likely need to go through reigning world number one Novak Djokovic, a six time titlist in Miami. Moreover, John Isner, the defending champion will have plenty to say. He is slated to clash with Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

Naomi Osaka will have to show the form that led her to capture the last two majors if she plans to walk away with her first trophy in Miami. The world number one could potentially meet Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon champion, in the fourth round or 2018 Australian Open winner, Caroline Wozniacki. In the quarterfinals, 2 time major holder, Angelique Kerber possibly awaits Osaka. To add to the degree of difficulty, the semifinals could be a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final with Petra Kvitová.

Still searching for her maiden trophy since the birth of her baby, Serena Williams is back at one of her favorite events. The eight time titlist will likely find world number two Simona Halep in the quarterfinals in her way. In the semifinals, defending champion Sloane Stephens or Karolina Pliskova could be Serena’s obstacle. Pliskova shocked the 23 time major holder this year in Australia down 1-5 in the third set in the quarterfinals. As a 3 time victor in Miami, unseeded big sister Venus is also a dangerous floater on Serena’s side of the draw as well.

As the storms clear, who will ultimately shine in the South Florida sun on championship day? Stay tuned.

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2019 Miami Open Player Field Announced

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2019 Miami Open Player Field Announced


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The 2019 Miami Open will break ground at its new location at the Hard Rock Stadium next month.

Today, the tournament announced the players field that will be taking to courts at the state of the art facilities in Miami Gardens. The ATP and WTA field includes a total of 19 Major singles champions.

The men’s side will be highlighted by the 2019 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic. Joining Djokovic in Miami are the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and 2018 Miami Open champion John Isner.

The women’s side will be highlighted by the 2019 Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka. Osaka will be joined by defending Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Caroline Wozniacki.

Here is the official press release from tournament:

Miami Gardens, FL (February 6, 2019) – The 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú will make its debut at Hard Rock Stadium March 18-31, and fans will have the opportunity to see one of the best player fields in tennis at its new lifestyle and entertainment venue.

This year’s extraordinary lineup features 19 players who have combined to win 108 career Grand Slam singles titles including all-time record holders Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Reigning Australian Open champions, and the world’s No. 1 ranked players, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka top one of the strongest ATP and WTA tournament draws of 2019.

Overall, each of the top 79 ranked men and 76 ranked women have entered to compete in Miami.

Federer and Djokovic lead a men’s field that includes 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, and former US Open champions Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic, along with defending Miami Open champion John Isner.

The player field also boasts the next generation of ATP stars including World No. 3 Alexander Zverev, Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, American Frances Tiafoe and Australian Nick Kyrgios.

The women’s field is even more impressive. Osaka, winner of the last two Grand Slam singles titles, leads a field that includes 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and defending Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens. Fans also will have the opportunity to see seven-time Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza, two-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, reigning French Open champion Simona Halep, 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

The player field however is just part of the story.

Tournament Owner IMG and Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross partnered to keep the Miami Open in Miami and have worked together to build a permanent world-class tennis facility that will provide an elevated fan experience while incorporating a unique Miami look and feel. The improved amenities will allow the tournament to host a true lifestyle and entertainment event featuring the best in tennis, art, food and music.

Tickets to the 2019 Miami Open are on sale now and available by phone at 305-943-6736 or online at www.miamiopen.com. Individual session tickets start at just $28 so get your tickets today. Ticket packages, group programs, and luxury hospitality offerings also are available.

Qualifying rounds will be March 18-19 and will determine 12 additional slots in each singles draw. The Miami Open also will award wildcards to five men and eight women. The women’s main draw begins on Tuesday, March 19, followed by the first round of the men’s main draw on Wednesday, March 20.

ATP Acceptance List (as of February 6, 2019)

Name Country Rank
Novak Djokovic, SRB, 01
Rafael Nadal, ESP, 02
Alexander Zverev, GER, 03
Juan Martin del Potro, ARG, 04
Kevin Anderson, RSA, 05
Roger Federer, SUI, 06
Kei Nishikori, JPN, 07
Dominic Thiem, AUT, 08
John Isner, USA, 09

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Djokovic Picks Up Fourth Wimbledon Trophy

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Djokovic Picks Up Fourth Wimbledon Trophy



Novak Djokovic dispatched Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 in the Wimbledon finals in order to acquire his 4th major at that the All England Club.

At the beginning of this fortnight, it’s unlikely that the odds maker had the South African on their radar. Anderson, the 2017 U.S. Open runner up, shocked Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Never previously winning a set in their four prior meetings, he overcame a 0-2 set deficit, match point, to prevail 13-11 in the fifth, in a match lasting 4 hour and 14 minute. Two days later, clashing with John Isner, a player no stranger to marathon matches, Anderson outlasted the American 26-24 in the decisive set, he was on court for 6 hour and 36 minute. Djokovic for his part endured a 5 hour 15 minute tussle with Rafael Nadal in the semifinals over two days edging the Spaniard 10-8 in the fifth. Would fatigue be a factor as Anderson attempted to elevate his status not only to the first South African to get to the last dance, but to that of victor at this venue?

The two competitors had met 6 times before. The South African’s sole win was at the Miami Open in 2008. Anderson’s inability to connect on his most valuable asset the serve, gave Djokovic the initial game as the South African double faulted. Swiftly with another errant forehand by Anderson, Djokovic consolidated for 2-0. Later, with Anderson dumping a backhand volley into the net, Djokovic capitalized on another break point and with a love game padded his lead to 5-1. With this insurmountable advantage, Djokovic eventually captured the set.

Concern over his right elbow prompted Anderson to call the trainer for treatment, however, this was not sufficient to slow down Djokovic. A backhand miscue handed Djokovic breakpoint in the opening game. In a carbon copy of the first set, the Serb cashed in and after a hold jumped in front 2-0. Down the road, a double fault by Anderson gifted Djokovic 15-40. With the South African’s forehand up the line landing wide, Djokovic moved ahead 4-1. Serving for the set at 5-2, Djokovic’s stroke misfired off a tremendous return by his opponent. Yet, Anderson failed to convert on his first break opportunity. Djokovic went on to pocket the second set.

In the third set, with time his adversary, Anderson changed tactics slightly by coming to the net more frequently. In the eight game, a let court allowed the South African to control the point and get a break chance. However, with his backhand traveling long, Djokovic arrived at deuce and ultimately leveled the score at 4-4. The Serbian stared down two set points in his next service game. After a love hold by Anderson for 6-5, his best window to take the set came with Djokovic’s forehand down the line flub giving him 15-40. Still it was a no go. A third break point was swiftly dismissed by Djokovic. Soon with an ace, the score was 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Djokovic curled a forehand up the line pass for a winner for 3-1. Then, with Anderson’s backhand volley missing it’s target, the Serb sprinted to a 5-1 edge. With Anderson’s return finding the net, Djokovic sealed the deal at 7-3.

Anderson drove as hard as he could to make the match competitive “first and second sets, Novak beat up on me pretty bad. The whole fortnight I tried my best to keep at it, came a point or two from pushing it to the fourth set. It would have been great to play longer here. But playing against Novak isn’t easy. He is a true champion of our sport and congratulation to him.” Commenting on his physical condition, Anderson said “I am definitely not as fresh now as I was coming into the week. But this is such an amazing tournament for us players. We dedicate our whole lives to fight for a spot to be on this court. . . there’s only been a few individuals who’ve made it out here, so that’s what it takes for me to get to here, I would have given another 21 hours. It really meant a lot to me.”

After a 2 year drought, Djokovic has his 13th major “It feels amazing [to be holding the trophy] because for the first time I have someone screaming daddy, daddy. . . I’m very emotional. . . I want to congratulate Kevin and his team. . . In his first Wimbledon final, he didn’t play his best for two sets, but in the third, he was the better player. I was quite lucky to get through ”

Following his career grand slam achievement in 2016 at the French Open, Djokovic hit a dirt patch with only two titles in 2017. A round of 16 exit at the Australian Open this year finally convinced him that a niggling elbow issue could not be fixed with rehab, he underwent surgery. In addition, returning to familiar roots, coach Marian Vjada, considering today’s outcome was his most astute decision. Djokovic cited “I had to trust the process. . . I owe a great thanks to my team, last couple of years it hasn’t been easy. With a severe injury, I had many moments of doubt and did not know whether I could come back to a level to compete. . . No better place in the world to make a comeback, it’s a sacred place for the world of tennis”

When the new rankings are revealed, Djokovic will rejoin the top 10 from his current position at 21. While Anderson crack the top 5 for the first time from his spot at 8.

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Federer Overpowers Del Potro as he Moves on to the Round of 16 at the Miami Open

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Federer Overpowers Del Potro as he Moves on to the Round of 16 at the Miami Open


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The hype preceding the third round match between Roger Federer and Juan Del Potro was off the decibel meter as these two set to collide in the third round at the Miami Open. Federer conquered the Argentine 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round.

After two wrists surgeries over the last few years, Del Potro has slowly worked his way back to a ranking of 29. This was the 21st match between the two. Del Potro had beaten the former world number one in the U.S. Open final in 2009 as well as in the final at his home town tournament, Basel, in 2012. Although Federer has a 15-5 mark against the Argentine, Del Potro had won 3 of their ultimate 5 meetings.

The opening set was uneventful until the sixth game when a backhand down the line winner gave Federer double break point. Del Potro rebounded with a couple of great serves to level the set at 3 all. But, he could not escape a second time. Subsequent to a untroubled hold by the reigning Australian Open champion, Del Potro again was asked to overcome 15-40. This time around, when Federer’s forehand pass landed for a winner, he secured the break for 5-3.

Del Potro put up some stiff resistance the next game, getting to 15-40 with a beautiful forehand crosscourt winner. Federer replied with an unreturnable serve and forehand down the line winner for deuce. Two more chances to break for Del Potro went unclaimed. Eventually, two consecutive volley winners allowed Federer to take the set.

The second set was similar to the first with Federer manufacturing 15-40 in the fifth game. Because of a sleuth of miscues by Del Potro, Federer went on to collect the break and swiftly consolidated for 4-2. In the eighth game, Del Potro had an opportunity to break and get back on serve. But, the Argentine’s forehand, his best stroke, failed him. Federer served out the match and booked his place in the round of 16.

Does Del Potro feel a bit unlucky having to deal with the likes of Federer or Novak Djokovic so early in these tournaments? “It’s the luck that I have because of my rankings. Someone has to play them. Physically, I was okay.”

Still, Del Potro is encouraged by his performance today “I had my chances in both sets with break points. But Federer played solid in the important moments. You don’t have to play perfect tennis against Federer to win, but you have to capitalize on your chances. . you have to look at the positive side. At the start of 2016, my dream was just to get back on court, to compete again. I did not expect the success that I had at the Olympics and Davis Cup. I have not hit a two handed backhand for a long time until this tournament which is one of the things that I realize. Once I get back the backhand, it will be less physically taxing on my game.”

The statistics were spectacular for the 18 time major holder who hit 29 winners and committed only 19 unforced miscues. So the Swiss was pretty pleased with his outing. Was it really as uncomplicated as it appeared ? “It depends a little bit on your angle. I felt that I was in control and I was able to generate more chances than he did. . . Out of nowhere, I felt he got his chances, maybe because I dropped my level ever so slightly and gave him a few easy points. . .. I was more the aggressor. It was more on my racket. I like it that way”

The complexion of the match could have been altered if Del Potro had seized one of his opportunities especially in the initial set. Federer expounded “looking back, that was probably the key. I knew when he had the break point at 15-40, if I could dig my way out of that game, instead of being broken, hold and win the set, it’s a good escape. Juan Martin didn’t play his best because he did have his chances there on second serves and he could have done better, maybe played more aggressive, who knows what. But I hit some good shots to stay in there.”

The stadium was packed and the vibe was scorching like the South Florida sun. What did Federer think? “shortly before I walked out to the court you could sense the atmosphere. That’s when I told myself, just be prepared for something different. I think if the match would have gone three sets or tiebreakers or something even closer, would have been really epic. . . it was just really a great, nice atmosphere. A lot of pleasure playing him. Nice weather. Great opponent. Great crowd.”

Up to last season, Federer had a relatively injury free career. Because of his extended hiatus, his ranking suffered. Bumping into rivals prior to the quarters or semis will occur “If we’re all ranked outside of the top eight it’s going to happen more frequently naturally. That’s why Indian Wells maybe I’m to blame. I had a chance in Dubai to get into the top eight and I didn’t make it by losing in the second round. Then of course I got lucky or earned my way forward in Australia. If I would have lost early there I would’ve been outside of the top 30 and would have taken a while to get back into the top eight.”

With age come responsibility and wisdom. Consequently, foremost on Federer’s mind is “to be a bit more clever in terms of scheduling overall. Unfortunately, I can’t do it all. I can’t chase the Davis Cup and the slams and play all the Masters 1000s. At some point something has to give, unfortunately. I wish I could do it all like when I was 24 years old. . .I have to take some important decisions that work well for me as a tennis player, but then also for my family and my whole team. . .get the rest that I need, but then also play enough matches. If you don’t play enough normally you kind of lose touch of how to play break points, save break points, the shoulder gets rusty. Who knows what it is? You need the right balance. I think that’s more key than ever right now.”

At 35, is returning to number one a goal for Federer? “It’s not the priority. Health needs to be the priority. That’s why if I were to get there again I have to really win a lot of big tournaments, and I know how hard that is. I tried to do it for the last five years. So as long as I’m healthy, I feel like I can play good tennis, enjoy myself, I can beat – hopefully – some of the best players in the world, or most of them, and win tournaments as well. The rankings is very secondary.”

Most athletes come at a crossroad in their career because injury, it’s a factor in the sport. Federer states “two years ago. . . I was not 100%. At some point you just feel like in those kind of circumstances, Masters 1000s towards the end when you have to back it up day after day or play four-, five-setters every second day against the best, it’s not going to be enough at the very end. The margins are too small for anybody up there. . .very disappointing, when you realize that you’re ready to do it mentally. . .something physically is hindering you from really actually going all out. That’s how I felt. That’s why after playing like this for virtually four months, doing so much rehab and it feels like you’re having a cloud in your head all the time because you’re doing so much treatment. You hope you’re going to be better the next day. Rather than focusing on the nice weather, the nice crowd, and the good opponent you’re going to face, you’re actually hoping your knee is going to hold up. . . It’s okay to do that for a couple of weeks or for a few tournaments during the season. If you do it every single day for a month, that’s when you have to, in my opinion, take a break and rest and come back properly. That’s what I did, and I cannot believe the way it paid off actually.”

Upcoming fourth round opponent for Federer is Roberto Baustista Agut. The Spaniard dispatched Sam Querrey 3-6,6-2, 6-3. Although Federer won their five previous encounters, he knows the Spaniard is no push over “I respect Bautista Agut a lot. Was watching his match against Querrey and I really thought Querrey was playing great in the first set. I thought that at some point he was going steamroll, but that’s what Bautista Agut does so well. He competes so well point for point, day in day out, and he plays ton of tournaments, and he’s really just match tough. He may be hurt. He was taping his feet. . .I am sure he was in pain and he found a way it get it done in the end. . .I hope I can use my variation to really make him feel uncomfortable. Looking forward to backing it up tomorrow now. It’s not something I’m actually used to, playing back-to-back days. So I hope my body is going to be fine tomorrow.”

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Marvelous Monday at Miami Open Features Federer versus Del Potro as the Marquee Match

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Marvelous Monday at Miami Open Features Federer versus Del Potro as the Marquee Match


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From the outset of the draw, the most anticipated potential third round encounter was Roger Federer against Juan Martin Del Potro. The fans got their wish since these two will battle it out for a fourth round berth.

Secondary to injury, Del Potro has off the tennis circuit for long stretches at a time the last four years. The last time Federer and he collided was in 2013 at the Barclays’ world tour finals. Federer holds a 15-5 record over the Argentine. As always the X-factor is the South American fans. Without question, the stadium will be sizzling which means anything can happen.

After the heights of Federer and Del Potro, John Isner clashes with youngster Alexander Zverev. The 19 year old, currently ranked 20th, won their sole prior meeting at the 2016 ATP Masters tournament in Shanghai.

For the women, the daytime’s most compelling match is Garbine Muguruza taking on former world number one Caroline Wozniacki. The 2016 French Open champion clawed her way to this stage needing three sets in both matches while Wozniacki sailed through. Muguruza has a 3-1 lead in their head to head. However, the two have not competed against each other since 2015.

Top seed Stanislas Wawrinka has the honor of opening the night session against 33 year old Tunisian veteran Malek Jaziri who is this far at Miami Open for the first time. He has a Herculean task in keeping his hopes for a fourth round spot alive as the two meet for the first time.

The night ends with two former Miami Open champions Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova duking it out for a quarterfinal spot. They’ve fought it out on court nine times previously with the Russian banking 5 wins over the American.

With the women seeking advancement to the quarterfinals, there is a plethora of interesting matches to pick from on Monday including world number one Angelique Kerber’s and second seed Karolina Pliskova’s.

Click here for for Monday’s complete order of play.

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Federer Pushed but Unfazed to Earn a Third Round Spot at the Miami Open

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Federer Pushed but Unfazed to Earn a Third Round Spot at the Miami Open


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The customary sentiment when one is 19 years old and sees a living legend across the net as the opponent is panic. By the time, the realization has set that it is an actual competition, the score line usually reads something like 0-6 with the first set evaporating in less than half an hour. Frances Tiafoe may be young, but he demonstrated a maturity today that will serve him well in the future as he faced the 18 time majors champion, Roger Federer. Although the Swiss master penned another in the win column, he was tested by the teenager in his 7-6, 6-3 victory in the second round at the Miami Open.

Ranked 101, Tiafoe worked his way into the main draw by qualifying. Then, he prevailed in the first round to earn his date with the reigning Australian Open champion. In the opening game, the American gave a nice account of himself, not getting frazzled after a 40-love lead dwindled to 40-30. With a nice backhand down the line winner, Tiafoe kept the proceeding on serve at 2-1.

As the competitors waited in the tunnel for their names to be announced, Federer was jovial and relaxed, chatting with the kid tasked with carrying his bag on court. To the contrary, Tiafoe had his racket bag on his back, concentrating intently not to let nerves creep up, not glancing long at his opponent. As he once mentioned Federer is “too smooth to emulate. He makes it look too easy. He is everybody’s idol.”

Federer kept his cool in the eight and tenth games, serving consecutive love games to put the set on an even footing twice. Later, it was Tiafoe’s turn to get comfortably to 6-5. When the former world number one saw a breathtaking backhand winner whiz for 0-15, he did not blink. Ultimately, Federer pushed the set into a tiebreaker with an ace. From that point on, Federer’s experience shone. Subsequent to securing the first point and mini-break with a volley winner, Federer cruised to capture the set.

After surrendering the first set with a bevy of unforced errors, Tiafoe rebounded by seizing the first break chance in the match to start the second set. However, his joy was ephemeral as Federer created two chances of his own and shortly leveled the set. Another testy moment in the contest was the fourth game. With three miscues, Tiafoe dug himself a 0-40 hole. The youngster shoveled himself out to reach 2 all. Yet, soon his next time serving the American stared at 15-40, Federer applied the accelerator to grab the break. The Swiss promptly sealed a love game with an ace to consolidate and move ahead 5-2. Still, for Tiafoe, there was no let down as he held serve and forced Federer to earn the win. The world number six did so with an easy service game.

Following the match, Federer reflected “I’ve hit with Frances maybe twice before: Once at the French and once at the US Open. There he surprised me . . .I saw the power he had, the explosivity he had, how he easily can generate pace. So I think he’s going to be really good, like most of the NextGen campaign . . . they’re pushing each other up right now. They have a good dynamic. They are quite friendly also with one another yet they have good rivalry.” He also praised the youngster for not letting the moment overwhelm him “I think the question was always how was he going to come out. It’s the question for any player. Also for me. How can you start a match? [He] seemed to be fearless, no problem, good serving, taking the ball early, making the plays. And that I like to see”

Hard to phantom, but at 35, Federer still gets jittery at the start of an event “even though I was pretty relaxed before the match . . .Yesterday I got these flashes of, Ooh, it’s going to be exciting. Then you walk out on court and there is always a big roar here in Miami . . it’s nice to get it over and done with on the winning side. You feel quite relieved to some extent because you know it can be dangerous. I don’t know his patterns well, or at all. I was actually playing very well. He stayed with me for very long time. That can make you nervous if maybe I wouldn’t have been so confident.”

With possibly, 14,000 sets of eyes watching, this is the biggest stage that Tiafoe has been on up to now. When Federer deferred and asked him to serve, admittedly, it amped up his anxiety level. “At first, I think he was feeling my game, didn’t know what to expect I think”.

When asked what is the primary lesson to take from this encounter, Tiafoe cited that he is encouraged by the way he played and that the goal will be to work hard on his game so that the next time he encounters such a big name it won’t be as early in the tournament. What does he feel he could improve “my return game”. Since the American pinpointed at least one aspect of his game which requires improvement, that alone is progress.

As Federer emphasized “I hope he’s going to learn a lot from a match like this just because playing on a center court with a lot of people, under pressure, saving break points, making break points, playing breakers. That’s what it’s about, and it should feed a player like him with a lot of energy moving forward hopefully. . .we both played very well and both can maybe walk away from this match quite happy, which is not often in tennis that that’s maybe the case.”

Looking to the third round, Federer could collide with Juan Martin Del Potro “I would love to play against him. I’m happy for him with his comeback, winning at Davis Cup. . .I should have played him here last year but I was sick. It’s better to play him this time around when we’re both better. . . We’ve had some epic matches against each other: Semis at the French, Olympic semis, finals at the US Open.” But as the great one himself pointed out “I’m sure the crowd would love to see it. Robin Haase is going to have a say about that, as we know.”

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Federer Top Billing on Saturday at the Miami Open

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Federer Top Billing on Saturday at the Miami Open


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First on Stadium Saturday at the Miami Open, Stanislas Wawrinka takes on Horacio Zeballos. The world number three holds a 2-0 record against Zeballos who had his best results at this event last year as a lucky loser. After Roger Federer pulled out due to illness, he shocked both Juan Martin Del Potro and Fernando Verdasco to advance to the round of 16 before being stopped by David Goffin. Consequently, with the Argentinian fans behind him and fond memories, Zeballos could present a challenge for the men’s top seed.

Later on in the afternoon, Wawrinka’s compatriot Federer begins his quest for the coveted Indian Wells, Miami Open double trophy, something he has not accomplished in over a decade. The 35 year old, 18 time major champion faces American rising star, 19 year old Frances Tiafoe. This will be their first meeting. The dynamic should be interesting dynamic considering the venue and the disparity in their resume.

A few day matches on the men’s column which are must see include, Sam Querrey versus Tommy Robredo and John Isner versus wildcard
Thomaz Bellucci.

On the women’s side, after her narrow escape in three sets on Friday, needing a rain delay and saving a match point against Christina McHale, Spain’s Garbine Murguruza returns for her third round match against China’s Shuia Zhang. The two met for the first time in Doha this year in the round of 16 with Zhang pulling off the upset. Thus, Murguruza will hungry for payback.

Another compelling day session match is Agnieszka Radwanska versus Mirjana Lucic- Baroni. The Croatian stunned 2012 Miami Open Champion in the second round this year at the Australian Open on route to her semifinal berth for the first time at a major since Wimbledon 1999. So, revenge will be on the agenda for the Pole without question.

Second seed Karolina Pliskova and fifth seed Dominika Cibulkova also are back on court for their third round matches as well as 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova.

The honor of closing out the night on the men’s side belongs to Juan Martin Del Potro as he tussles with Robin Haase. With a 2-0 record over the Dutch and with the South American crowd likely to be in full force, Del Potro will likely book a projected date with Federer for the third round.

For the ladies, Sorona Cirstea battles Caroline Wozniacki to end the evening. It will be a riveting contest considering their close head to head of 4-3 with the former world number one having the edge.

Click here for Saturday’s complete order of play.

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