ATP Miami 2014 – Draw Analysis & Predictions – – Our News, Your Views

ATP Miami 2014 – Draw Analysis & Predictions

Held at Key Biscayne in the week immediately following the Indian Wells Masters, the Sony Open (Miami Masters) is the second of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. The main draw play in Miami also extends beyond eight days. Along with the BNP Paribas Open, these two events headline the first of two North American hard court swings (the second of which, of course, is the US Open Series). 

Given Federer’s questionable resurgence, Nadal’s new back troubles, Djokovic’s trysts with doubt and Murray’s return from surgery, the inevitable whispers that did rounds fairly recently had the words “Big 4” and “demise” mentioned in the same breath.

And as soon as vagrant onlookers dared to ponder/utter just that, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic reached the final at the BNP Paribas Open last week (albeit in slightly contrasting fashion) and fought tooth and nail before the world #2 edged his legendary opponent in a deciding set tiebreaker. Et voila. Order in the tennis world ‘seemingly restored’ again.

Conditions, of course, slightly change this week – the desert air of California gives way to moisture and humidity atypical of Miami. The courts, though, remain on the slower side.

Some questions we try to answer are:

  • Can Novak Djokovic accomplish the ‘Indian Wells-Miami Double’ for a second time in his career?
  • Rafael Nadal, the holder of a record 26 Masters 1000 titles, is a 3-time runner-up at Key Biscayne. Can he win his first Sony Open title?
  • Andy Murray, the defending champion, continues to make the push since his return from surgery. What are his chances?
  • He may have won almost everything, but the fire still burns for Roger Federer (who recently annouced that he will continue working with Stefan Edberg for the remainder of 2014). Where to, next?
  • And finally, who among the up-and-comers can go deep in their respective sections over the next ten days?

The Sony Open draw unravelled some potentially interesting paths for the big names. Rafael Nadal drew Juan Martín del Potro in his quarter and Stanislas Wawrinka in his half. Tomas Berdych was drawn in Stan’s quarter. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, will have to contend with Andy Murray in his quarter. David Ferrer is the next highest seed in the bottom half. The Spaniard, who is projected to meet Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, could well lose his fourth ranking to the Swiss at the end of the fortnight.


  • Juan Martín del Potro – who played the lone doubles match in Indian Wells before pulling out of the singles competition – confirmed that he will miss Miami too, despite travelling to Crandon Park. His slot in the draw will be filled by a lucky loser (TBA).
  • Also, on the eve of the men’s opening round, Andy Murray announced his split with coach Ivan Lendl.

Projected paths[Prefix] denotes seeding

Top half – 

[1] Rafael Nadal: BYE > Lleyton Hewitt > Dmitry Tursunov > Fabio Fognini/Roberto Bautista-Agut > Milos Raonic > Stanislas Wawrinka > Novak Djokovic

[8] Juan Martín del Potro: BYE > Ryan Harrison > Vasek Pospisil > Milos Raonic > Rafael Nadal > Stanislas Wawrinka > Novak Djokovic

[3] Stanislas Wawrinka: BYE > Daniel Gimeno-Traver > Marin Cilic > Tommy Haas/Alexandr Dolgopolov > Tomas Berdych > Rafael Nadal > Novak Djokovic

[7] Tomas Berdych: BYE > Alex Bogomolov, Jr. > Gilles Simon > John Isner > Stanislas Wawrinka > Rafael Nadal > Novak Djokovic

He could meet beanpole bombers in Jerzy Janowicz and Milos Raonic, but – given that the courts play to his strength – Rafael Nadal should battle his way to the final four. A fit and firing Stanislas Wawrinka could narrowly edge Tomas Berdych for the second semifinal spot.

Bottom half –

[5] Roger Federer: BYE > Ivo Karlovic > Fernando Verdasco > Richard Gasquet > David Ferrer/Grigor Dimitrov > Novak Djokovic > Rafael Nadal

[4] David Ferrer: BYE > Teymuraz Gabashvili > Andreas Seppi > Grigor Dimitrov > Roger Federer > Novak Djokovic > Rafael Nadal

[6] Andy Murray: BYE > Matthew Ebden > Feliciano Lopez/Jiri Vesely > Jo-Wilfried Tsonga > Novak Djokovic > Roger Federer > Rafael Nadal

[2] Novak Djokovic: BYE > Jeremy Chardy > Florian Mayer > Ernests Gulbis > Andy Murray > Roger Federer > Rafael Nadal

David Ferrer’s return from injury could be put to a litmus test by the talented Grigor Dimitrov, with the winner possibly meeting Roger Federer. The Swiss, who has rediscovered his touch, should reach the final four. Novak Djokovic is all but expected to keep his semifinal date, too.

Prediction for Semifinal #1: [1] Rafael Nadal to beat [3] Stanislas Wawrinka

In what will be viewed by quite a few as a “grudge match” (given the events Down Under), expect the Majorcan to exact hard fought revenge over the confident Swiss.

Prediction for Semifinal #2: [2] Novak Djokovic to beat [5] Roger Federer

With the courts playing to his strengths, the Serb will be looking to level his head-to-head against the Swiss Maestro. He will do just that.

Prediction for the Final: [1] Rafael Nadal to beat [2] Novak Djokovic in three sets and win a record extending 27th Masters 1000 title

Apart from the stinging loss at Indian Wells, Team Rafa will be smarting from the last two losses to Nole and will be only too eager to set the record straight. The face-off is expected to be a test of Rafa’s physical strength (given his recent ailments) and Novak’s mental fortitude (given how he blinked while trying to serve out matches a couple of times last week). The world #1, though, should just about edge his storied rival for a maiden Miami Masters title.

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