Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it. Miami is underway and as you probably know by now that Federer withdrew before his first match against Del Potro citing a stomach bug. It’s a shame because tennis needs Federer and I was looking forward to having him back.
At least, it was not his knee again and now he will be back in Monte Carlo where he would have come back to begin with. Tennis also needs Del Potro but he lost to lucky loser Zeballos who took Federer’s spot.
Del Potro can still barely hit a double-handed backhand and it looks doubtful whether he will ever be able to recapture former glory. He is slicing most of his backhands now and that’s just not gonna cut it.
As for Zeballos, he has made the best of his luck and made the fourth round today by defeating Verdasco 7-6 in the third which is nice to see.
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) March 26, 2016
Then Nadal retired during his match with Dzumhur when trailing 6-2, 4-6, 0-3. Interestingly, Dzumhur complained of the same dizziness Nadal complained of and thought about retirement himself but called a medical timeout and refused to give up.
It’s not really surprising that the players are struggling in Miami given the heat and humidity but I find it interesting that Dzumhur refused to throw in the towel while the so-called ‘Spartan Warrior’ gave up.
So all credit to Dzumhur for his attitude. He now plays Kukushkin against whom Bellucci withdrew against as well. I don’t know what the temperature has been but from what I’ve seen the players are sweating bullets so I guess the withdrawals are not all that surprising.
Wawrinka did not withdraw but he lost to Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-3. That leaves only Murray in the bottom half out of the top five and the dependable Djoker in the top half. Murray has a good record in Miami and also trains there I think so it’s no wonder.
— Nick Leone (@NickyLeonski) March 25, 2016
Someone who could trouble him in the bottom half though is Raonic or even Kyrgios if he goes on a hot run. In the top half, Djokovic has been moving along without being troubled as usual. He now plays Thiem which is a match I am looking forward to.
They have met once before in Shanghai in 2014 just before Djokovic was about to hit his peak and Djokovic won that encounter 6-3, 6-4. Thiem was not at his current level back then either and he still made it a competitive match.
Djokovic and Thiem lead the ATP in match wins and, of course, Thiem won his first ATP 500 title in Acapulco recently. The slow Miami courts also suit his game. I am hoping Thiem plays his best tennis and that we see a good match.
With three of the top five seeds gone we can use some good matches. Djokovic vs Thiem can certainly provide that if Thiem plays his best tennis. It will be interesting to see if Djokovic raises his game as well.
Thiem is another youngster who may become a threat to him in the future and he may feel like raising his game to send Thiem a message. He’s been playing well within himself so far as expected but Thiem is a potential danger so we may see another Djokovic on Tuesday.
Looking forward to finding out!