On a very busy Miami Tennis Masters schedule, the last 24 men’s Grand Slam champions return to the court on Tuesday in fourth round, and for some third round, play. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro are just two wins from repeating their Indian Wells semifinal.
DelPo begins the day with a rematch against Mardy Fish. DelPo beat Mardy in his home state last month in Delray Beach and I don’t see any reason why the Argentine can’t do it again. An 11am start time will help Fish but DelPo has have too much firepower.
A winner of 22 straight matches, the red-hot Djokovic faces off against Viktor Troicki. I thought at the outset that this may be where Djokovic finally stumbles, however the Djoker has been laser-like in his game and I just don’t think he’ll give his friend a freebie here. Novak has won eight straight against Troicki.
In what could be the best match of the day, Nadal will meet the winner of Alexandr Dolgopolov-JW Tsonga showdown that was suspended b/c of rain last night with the Frenchman serving 2-3 in the third set. Nadal has had trouble with Tsonga and I could see Dolgo given the Spaniard problems as well. Still, I picked Rafa to win this title and I like his chances this afternoon.
“Last week’s final was a very important result for me,” said Nadal who has never won Miami. “And I have to play well here to keep improving the situation in the race, to be in good position when the clay season starts.”
In the evening, Federer plays fellow veteran and childhood friend Olivier Rochus. The qualifier Rochus is having his best month in many years – he’s on a 10-match win streak including challengers and qualifying – but it’s tough to see the Belgian beating Federer.
“Like everybody, I need to serve well,” said Rochus. “Try to be aggressive. Play my game to be in the court, not too far from the baseline. It’s important for me to put in a lot of first serves, otherwise there will be a lot of pressure on my second serve, especially against one of the best players in the world.”
Said Federer, “Even though he’s a small guy out there, he knows how to use his weapons and his feel. He’s a great tactician. I enjoy playing against him. It’s a different kind of playing style. I’m looking forward to the match against him… it’s going to be a nice match, I’m sure.”
On Court 2, Janko Tipsarevic plays Gilles Simon in another good match.
Overall, it’s been a lazy men’s event thus far and that may continue today unless Tsonga/Dolgo can get hot against Rafa. But it looks like we are headed for a good conclusion this early segment of the hard court season.
On the women’s, after Andrea Petkovic stunner Caroline Wozniacki yesterday, the quarterfinals in the top half are wide open. Fortunately for the WTA Maria Sharapova has really refound her game and is playing good tennis. Today, the Russian meets Alexandra Dulgheru who hasn’t come close to losing a set in three matches.
Petkovic plays Jelena Jankovic while Clijsters-Ivanovic are set to complete their fourth round match.
Tennis Channel has one more day of live coverage. Streaming is also available via the ATP site. Let’s hope the weather holds up.
TUESDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
 M Fish (USA) vs J Del Potro (ARG) – ATP
Not Before 12:00 PM
 A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs  J Tsonga (FRA) 67(2) 64 32 – ATP-to finish 67 64 32
Not Before 1:00 PM
 A Petkovic (GER) vs  J Jankovic (SRB) – WTA
 A Ivanovic (SRB) vs  K Clijsters (BEL) – WTA
 V Troicki (SRB) vs  N Djokovic (SRB) – ATP-Possible Court Change
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  A Dolgopolov (UKR) or  J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
Not Before 7:30 PM
 M Sharapova (RUS) vs  A Dulgheru (ROU) – WTA
Not Before 9:30 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs [Q] O Rochus (BEL) – ATP
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
 D Ferrer (ESP) vs M Granollers (ESP) – ATP
 J Isner (USA) vs K Anderson (RSA) – ATP
F Mayer (GER) vs  T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
Not Before 5:00 PM
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  G Simon (FRA) – ATP
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