Miami Open 2021 Predictions – The Men’s Field
After being cancelled in 2020, the Miami Open is officially on. Half of the top men’s players are participating. The notable exceptions are Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. Those players are opting to prep for the clay court season, and in Federer’s case, the grass court season. Although they will be missed, the tournament field is still strong enough to expect some great matches for the Covid 19 edition. Let’s take a closer look at the favorites and their form coming into the tournament.
Andrey Rublev (#4 Seed)
Rublev has had an incredible last 18 months, winning an astonishing seven tournaments in that time span. Unfortunately for Andrey, he’s fallen short at both the Masters 1000 tournaments and the Grand Slams. In those tournaments, he has not made it past the quarterfinals. Coincidentally, it has been countryman Daniil Medvedev who has sent him packing at the last two Grand Slams – rather easily. In sum, in order for Andrey to have a shot at this title, he better hope somebody else takes care of Medvedev. If Andrey is in Medvedev’s half, he will fall short in the semis.
Alexander Zverev (#3 Seed)
Zverev has won three Masters 1000 crowns. However, those wins came in 2017 and 2018. The past two years have not been kind to Zverev at the Masters 1000 level. He’s had a string of 2nd and 3rd round exits for the most part. Zverev seems to have settled a notch below Medvedev, Thiem, Nadal and Djokovic in the last year. Will that pecking order continue at the Miami Open? There’s no reason to think otherwise. The fact that Djokovic, Thiem and Nadal are absent is good news for Zverev. Expect him in the semifinals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (#2 Seed)
Tsitsipas is quickly becoming the most lovable player on tour. His attitude, personality, and game are a great combination to watch. He’s been relatively successful at Grand Slams and Masters 1000 tournaments, making three Grand Slam semis, and two Masters 1000 finals and three semis. One gets the sense that Tsitsipas is due for a big Masters 1000 tournament. He already showed that he can win a big tournament by winning the 2019 ATP finals. I see Tsitsipas in the Finals at Miami.
Daniil Medvedev (#1 Seed)
Medvedev is the second-best hard-court player in the world behind Djokovic. The Djokovic withdrawal means he has a clean road to the final and is the overwhelming favorite to take the tournament. In the final, he’s very likely to meet Stefanos Tsitsipas. That being said, Miami has not been a friendly for Medvedev in the last couple of years. He’s bowed out early on. I don’t foresee that being an issue though. Unless he meets an inspired Tsitsipas in the final, Medvedev will win his first Miami Open.