Six-time champion Novak Djokovic resumes his comeback this afternoon at Miami. The former No. 1 who had a rough go at Indian Wells losing meekly to qualifier Taro Daniel, hopes Miami offers more success.
“I’m not yet at my best but I’m working to get there,” Djokovic said Tuesday. “Every day is a process for me and is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get better. Obviously the two years of an injury and trying to figure out ways how to play pain-free, which I wasn’t able to a lot of times in the last couple years, were compromising my game,” Djokovic said.
The Serb takes on the talented Benoit Paire. Djokovic has won 16 straight matches in Miami and has won his last 21 against Frenchmen. And, he says, the elbow is feeling better.
“The last few days have been the first days in long, long time that I could actually focus on the game rather than have something in my mind always worried whether I’m going to have pain or not, and usually it happened,” Djokovic added. “It’s quite refreshing because everything else was pain involved.”
In the evening, the surging Indian Wells champion Juan Martin del Potro takes the court against Dutchman Robin Haase. Del Potro has won his last 11 matches.
“I’m not thinking too much. I’m just enjoying the moment that I am living,” Del Potro said. “I know what I have been through to get to this time and this place and this ranking. I am still calm… It will be my fourth tournament in a row. I’m tired, and mentally and physically it’s not easy to deal with all of these emotions.
“But then I will have a break, I will see what tournament we play on clay, because my body feels that surface, and I want to stay healthy during the whole season. That’s my biggest goal.”
Seeds Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, John Isner, Milos Raonic and Hyeon Chung are also in action.
Yesterday, as the first round wrapped up, Thanasi Kokkinakis set a Saturday date with Roger Federer after pounding Calvin Hemery 6-1, 6-2.
Canadian phenom Denis Shapovalov survived a 5-1 third set collapse to beat Viktor Troicki and save a match point in a 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(6) win.
Frances Tiafoe beat Nicolas Kicker, Daniil Medvedev knocked out Stefanos Tsitsipas and Yoshihito Nishioka upended Alex De Minaur. Spaniard Nicola Kuhn, who just turned 18, earned his first career ATP level match ousting Darian King. In doing so, he becomes the youngest Spaniard to win an ATP match since a 17-year-old Rafael Nadal beat Richard Gasquet at 2004 Estoril.
FRIDAY MIAMI SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA – N. Osaka (JPN) vs  E. Svitolina (UKR)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – P. Herbert (FRA) vs  M. Cilic (CRO)
ATP – B. Paire (FRA) vs  N. Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA –  V. Williams (USA) vs [Q] N. Vikhlyantseva (RUS)
ATP –  J. Del Potro (ARG) vs R. Haase (NED)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – M. Puig (PUR) vs  C. Wozniacki (DEN)
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