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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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