The big stars roll out today in Miami as the second round kicks off with five of the Top 10 men in action.
Roger Federer opens his bid for a third Miami title against Ivo Karlovic at 1pm. Federer skipped the event last year, but this year enters high on confidence after an excellent start to 2014.
“Clearly you’ve got to be healthy to be able to play good tennis and get to the balls,” said Federer who last won in Miami in 2006. “If you’re not going to get to the balls, then you won’t be able to hit it and then the racquet doesn’t matter. I need the quick feet, and I think I found that again.”
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will look to extend his Indian Wells run against Jeremy Chardy. Djokovic will once again be without new coach Boris Becker who is undergoing an emergency hip procedure.
In the evening, Andy Murray opens his title defense against Matt Ebden. Murray shocked the tennis world Wednesday announcing that he and coach Ivan Lendl had split.
“It’s very hard to replace someone like him,” said Murray. “But I would hope that I’ve learned enough from him to approach those [big] matches and how to deal with those situations better. Because I have won those matches, so I know how to deal with it better now.”
Richard Gasquet and 2013 runner-up David Ferrer who returns from injury are also in action.
The first round men’s concluded yesterday with Americans Sam Querrey, Ryan Harrison, Donald Young and Jack Sock advancing. Bernard returned returned from hip surgery but was treated rudely by Jarkko Nieminen losing in a record-quick 28 minutes 6-0, 6-1.
In the women’s draw, yesterday saw favorites Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova win in tough openers. Serena, a 6-time Miami champion, had to save multiple set points in a 7-6(7), 6-2 win over Slava Shvedova.
“She was playing really, really well,” Williams said of Shvedova. “When she was up a break I really tried to fight to make the shots. And when she was serving for the first set, I just tried to be more Serena-like.
“She was doing a little bit of everything today – she was hitting hard, she was hitting soft, she was doing a little bit of everything. I was making a few more errors than what I should have been making, what I should have made, and that really kind of threw me for a loop during the match as well.
“But I just tried to come back and stay in the match.”
Today former champion Venus Williams begins play along with Indian Wells finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na.
FRIDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – A Kleybanova (RUS) vs  N Li (CHN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP –  R Federer (SUI) vs I Karlovic (CRO)
ATP – J Chardy (FRA) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – R Oprandi (SUI) vs  A Radwanska (POL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – A Schmiedlova (SVK) vs  V Williams (USA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP –  A Murray (GBR) vs M Ebden (AUS)
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