Zverev Bids for Second Title

The past few weeks have seen some surprising results. There have been title wins for Nikoloz Basilashvili and on Saturday, Aslan Karatsev. The Mexican Open was a bit more predictable as the top two seeds met in Sunday's final. Even then, it was number two seed Alexander Zverev who beat the top seed Stefanos Tsitispas. Both now head for Miami for this ATP 1000 event.

We'll have plenty of coverage of the event that runs until 3 April. Look out for our previews of the top matches played.

Seedings

1 Daniil Medvedev

2 Stefanos Tsitsipas

3 Alexander Zverev

4 Andrey Rublev

5 Diego Schwartzmann

6 Matteo Berrettini

7 Roberto Bautista-Agut

8 Denis Shapovalov

9 David Goffin

10 Grigor Dimitrov

11 Fabio Fognini

12 Felix Auger-Aliassime

13 Milos Raonic

14 Cristian Garin

15 Karen Khachanov

16 Alex de Minaur

17 Aslan Karatsev

Seeded Quarter Finals

Daniil Medvedev v Roberto Bautista Agut

Alexander Zverev v David Goffin

Diego Schwartzmann v Andrey Rublev

Denis Shapovalov v Stefanos Tsitsipas

That's how the last eight is seeded to be but there have been plenty of upsets in recent weeks. The draw has produced some interesting matches for sure. Andy Murry has a wild card for this event but has drawn Lloyd Harris, finalist in Dubai in the first round. The winner of that match takes on Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round.

Aslan Karatsev won in Dubai at the weekend. The first seeded opponent he is due to face is Italy's Fabio Fognini and another shock could be caused.  With the main seed in his part of the draw being Diego Schwartzmann, the Russian could have another good tournament. 

The Contenders

Daniil Medvedev

It's been a good year so far for Daniil Medvedev. That's been reflected by the fact he has climbed above Rafael Nadal and is ranked second behind Novak Djokovic. The world number one is absent in Miami, as are Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer. All of which will make for another open tournament.

Medvedev began this year leading Russia to the ATP Cup. He played three matches against top ten players (Zverev, Schwartzmann and Berrettini), winning them all. That was followed by reaching the final of the Australian Open, losing in the final to Djokovic.

The Russian lost in the first round in Rotterdam but bounced back to form in Marseille. Medvedev won the title with a win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.  He didn't beat anyone in the top 30 though and this will be tougher. He's never made it past the fourth round in this tournament.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek comes to Miami fresh from losing the final of the Mexican Open. He's had a consistent 2021 after being unbeaten in his first seven matches of the year. The current world number five lost his first match of the new year when beaten by Daniil Medvedev. That was in the semi-final of the Australian Open and he'd beaten Rafael Nadal in the previous round. 

Another semi-final followed in Rotterdam, a quarter final in Marseille and then the run in the Mexican Open. His last title was won in Marseille last year. He regularly goes deeps in tournaments but needs to win more to climb up the rankings.

Alexander Zverev

The Mexican Open winner is already targeting more title victories. A win in Miami would certainly be excellent for the German. He'd had a good 2021 before his success at the weekend. Zverev made it to the last eight of the Australian Open, losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic. Alexander Bublik beat him in Rotterdam but he bounced back to form in Mexico.

That was his first title win since October when winning both of the Cologne tournaments. That was followed by a run to the final of the Paris Masters. When he's in form, Zverev is very hard to beat. He nearly won this title in 2018 and probably should have. He led 14th seeded John Isner by a set but ended up losing the final to the American.

Andrey Rublev

Another consistent performer who could do well in Miami. His year began helping Russia to the ATP Cup, though no top ten players were beaten. Now up to eighth in the world rankings, he reached the last eight of the Australian Open (losing to Medvedev) and then won the Rotterdam tournament. Two semi-finals in Doha and Dubai have followed. Improvement in Miami is needed though as he's never made it past the third round in five previous visits.

Diego Schwartzmann

The world number nine is the fifth seed here. He's yet to make it past the third round of this tournament.  Schwartzmann only made it to the last 32 of the Australian Open, losing to Aslan Karatsev who won in Dubai at the weekend.

The Argentinian has won one tournament this year. He won in Buenos Aires on his favourite clay surface. Schwartzmann didn't beat a player ranked in the top 40 to win that title. He hasn't done that all year actually, so needs to improve back on hard courts.

Matteo Berrettini

The Italian has only played in this tournament twice in the past. His only time in the main draw was a first round exit in 2018. He's had a steady if not spectacular 2021 and could do well here. 

2021 began with a quarter final in Antalya before more success in Australia. He beat Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils in the ATP Cup. That helped Italy to the final but he lost his match against Daniil Medvedev. The Australian Open saw him beat Karen Khachanov in the last 32 (all three sets won on a tie-break) but then pulled out of his quarter final against Stefanos Tsitsipas. This is his first tournament since then, so it'll be interesting to see how he progresses.

Others to consider include Roberto Bautista Agut (runner-up in both Montpellier and Doha) and David Goffin (winner in Rotterdam).

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