Will Daniil Medvedev regain his No. 1 ranking? 8 Reasons to Watch the Miami Masters
The second half of March on the tennis calendar is traditionally reserved for the Masters in Miami, a continuation of the so-called “Sunny Double” that began in Indian Wells, California.
“The Masters in the Sunshine State
The second Masters of the season is about to begin in Miami, with a 96-player, seven-round net. Like Indian Wells, this tournament is often referred to as the unofficial fifth Slam. It also takes place over two weeks, with both men and women battling it out on the same courts at the same time. The 32 seeded tennis players skip the first round and enter the battle from the second round.
The Indian Wells-Miami tie-up is called the “Sunshine Double” because the first takes place in hot California on the U.S. West Coast and the second on the Florida Peninsula on the East Coast, where the Sunshine State is actually located. The tournament was first held in 1985 in Delray Beach, the following season in Boca West, from 1987 to 2018 on Key Biscayne Island in Miami, and in 2019 it moved to Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium, where the NFL club Miami Dolphins play their games.
Miami Record Holders
There have been several players in the history of the Miami tournament who have had phenomenal success here. American Andre Agassi and Serbian Novak Djokovic have won six times each, while four times Swiss Roger Federer and three times Pete Sampras of the US have won the title. Curiously, Djokovic has the most “Sunny doubles”, that is, wins in the same year in both Indian Wells and Miami – four (2011, 2014-2016). Three such successes are under Federer’s belt (2005, 2006, 2017). The women also have their own record holder – American Serena Williams has won here eight times. Steffi Graf of Germany has five titles and Vinus Williams and Victoria Azarenka have three each. The last two titles were won by Australian Ashley Barty (2019, 2021), but this time she is not taking part in the tournament for personal reasons.
Russian beauties and Nikolay Davydenko
Among the winners of the tournament in Miami were Russians. In 2008, the champion was Nikolay Davydenko who beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Among the women in 2006 Svetlana Kuznetsova was the champion. Another group of Russian beauties made it to the finals in Miami – Anna Kournikova (1998), Elena Dementieva (2004), Maria Sharapova (2005, 2006, 2011-2013) and Kuznetsova (2016).
Will Medvedev regain first place?
As a result of the Masters in Indian Wells, Daniil Medvedev lost first place in the ATP rankings, where he had held for three weeks. The Russian had to make it to the quarter-finals if he wanted to stay at the top of the table at the end of the Californian tournament. He failed to meet that goal, falling behind in the third round. Medvedev must reach the semifinals at least to regain the lead after Miami.
Djokovic and Nadal missed
There were originally two multiple Grand Slam champions, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, in the Indian Wells set. But again Novak was not allowed to participate in the tournament because he didn’t want to get vaccinated. Recall for the same reason he was not allowed to play in the Australian Open.
He will not play in Miami either. But Nadal, who reached the finals in Indian Wells, had withdrawn from the Florida Masters in advance for fear of aggravating a leg injury. In addition to Nadal and Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori and others will miss the Masters in Miami.
$1.2 million for a champion
“The Masters in Indian Wells and Miami try to keep a unified policy on prize money. The principle of equal payouts for men and women has traditionally been maintained. The total amount of money allocated to players in Miami is an impressive $16,953,510. The first-round pick will receive $18,200, and the champion and champion will each receive $1,231,245.
In the absence of Djokovic and Nadal, the net was headed by the second racket of the world, Daniel Medvedev (No. 1 seed) and the fourth racket Alexander Zverev (2). According to the results of the toss the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) got to the top half with Medvedev and the Italian Matteo Berrettini (4) – to the bottom one. If all the top 8 seeds make it to the quarterfinals, the pairs will be as follows: Medvedev (1) – Pole Hubert Hurkac (8), Tsitsipas (3) – Canadian Felix Auger-Allassim (7), Russian Andrey Rublev (5) – Berrettini (4) and Norwegian Casper Ruud (6) – Zverev (2). Two other Russians – Karen Khachanov (23) and Aslan Karatsev (29) – will start in the second round.
Layout of the women’s set
In the women’s tournament, besides the champion of the last two draws and world number one Ashley Barty of Australia, the Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Varvara Gracheva and others do not participate. Arina Sobolenko of Belarus (No. 1 seed) and Iga Swiatek of Poland (No. 2) topped the grid. There are four Russians in the tournament, three of whom will start in the second round – Veronika Kudermetova (21), Daria Kasatkina (25) and Lyudmila Samsonova (29). Ekaterina Alexandrova will start in the first round. Vera Zvonareva, Anna Kalinskaya and Anastasia Potapova also made it to the final of the qualification round.