In the most anticipated match-up of the second round at the Miami Masters, Roger Federer meets Juan Martin del Potro in a rematch of their 2009 US Open championship.
Federer also returns to tennis for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in early a February. Today, Federer blamed the injury on a freak accident while getting a bath ready for his twin girls.
After weeks of crutches and rehab, Federer is cautious heading into the match because of the injury, which kept him off the tour since Australia resulting in his appearance in Miami, an event not on his original schedule.
“I’m excited,” Federer said of his return. “Anxious to find out how it’s going to react, is it going to be different day-to-day, how is it going to feel after the match and so forth. I’m just really pleased that I’m here. Couldn’t be more happy how rehab has gone. It’s baby steps.
“Still at the same time you go from crutches to walking to running to jumping to sprinting. It’s pretty incredible to see the progress I’ve been able to make in a short period of time.
“If I feel something tomorrow, I won’t play. It’s very simple. Expectations are really low, which is nice for a
Federer is a 2-time Miami champion but hasn’t won the title in ten years since 2006 when he beat his coach Ivan Ljubicic. In his most recent match in Miami he lost to Kei Nishikori in 2014 quarterfinals.
In other men’s matches Friday, top seed Novak Djokovic begins his quest for a sixth Miami title against 21-year-old Brit Kyle Edmund.
“For me Miami represents something special because it was the first big tournament that I won back in 2007, beating Guillermo Cañas in the final,” Djokovic said. “It helped me to believe and build my self-confidence for the rest of my career. I used it as a springboard basically for everything else that was coming up after that.”
Djokovic is trying to win his sixth Miami event and third straight. The year’s field is as tough as ever with all Top 15 players in attendance.
“I’m very glad that all the top players are taking part in this tournament, I expect some good tennis,” Djokovic said. “I see the fans are already excited, coming in big numbers in the opening days of the tournament.
“So I look forward to it. I’ve had a very successful last couple of years in Miami. The fact that I have five days between Indian Wells final and the first match here gives me enough time to get used to the conditions and get ready for the challenge.”
Former finalist David Ferrer also returns to take on 18-year-old phenom Taylor Fritz.
Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem are also on court.
In action today, Denis Istomin took down Borna Coric, Marcos Baghdatis beat Benjamin Becker and Federico Delbonis beat Elias Ymer.
FRIDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – B. Strycova (CZE) vs  A. Kerber (GER)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [Q] T. Fritz (USA) vs  D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP –  R. Federer (SUI) vs [PR] J. Del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) vs  V. Williams (USA)
ATP –  N. Djokovic (SRB) vs K. Edmund (GBR)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA –  V. Azarenka (BLR) vs M. Puig (PUR)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
ATP – R. Ram (USA) vs  T. Berdych (CZE)
WTA – D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs  G. Muguruza (ESP)
ATP – F. Verdasco (ESP) vs  J. Chardy (FRA)
ATP –  S. Johnson (USA) vs A. Zverev (GER)
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP –  R. Gasquet (FRA) vs A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)
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