Federer Overcomes Albot In Miami Opener, Ferrer Foils Zverev; Djokovic Returns
by Staff | March 24th, 2019, 9:12 am

Three-time champion Roger Federer was made to work hard in his opener in Miami on Saturday. The Swiss was broken immediately by unheralded qualifier Radu Albot who hung on take the opening set in front of a stunned Hard Rock crowd.

A year ago it was Thanasi Kokkinakis stunning Federer, could it happen again?

Federer, who missed on break chances in the first, blew further chances mid-way in the second, but finally got through as Albot tried to force the breaker.

In the third, Albot had his chances to grab a break but it was Federer who was able to convert and close it out 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours, 10 minutes.

“I expected a player with a great attitude, which he showed,” Federer said. “An aggressive baseliner, who moves well. He’s not afraid to come to the net. The problem is I’ve never practiced with him. I’ve never really seen him play live matches.

“I thought it was hard. I have a lot of respect for those types of players who don’t have the size, have to find a different way to win. He’s a great, great player. I was impressed.”

Federer was projected to meet friend and countryman Stan Wawrinka on Monday, but Wawrinka was upset as the day began by Filip Krajinovic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(5). The Serb won five of the last six points of the match to upset the 30th seed.

In the evening match, former finalist David Ferrer kept his farewell Miami afloat stunning No. 2 seed and 2018 runner-up Alexander Zverev 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“It means a lot,” said Ferrer who lost to Zverev in this round a year ago. “It’s a special day because it’s the last year of professional tennis for me. Winning these type of matches against a Top 10 player like Sascha is a gift. I’m very happy and I’m trying to enjoy every point and every moment.

“My motivation is playing at a high level and be competitive. It’s my goal. I can’t play at my best level anymore, but I want to have good energy and play my best in every match.”

The German has now dropped three of his last four matches.

Ferrer will now meet American youngster Frances Tiafoe who beat Miomir Kecmanovic.

Also advancing were Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov, Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev.

Qualifier Andrey Rublev ousted Marin Cilic and Jordan Thompson scored a big upset win over Karen Khachanov.

On tap Sunday, the third round begins with Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic and defending champion John Isner all scheduled.

Stadium 12:00 Noon
3rd Rd Albert Ramos-Vinolas v 7 John Isner
Not Before 2:00 Pm
3rd Rd Polona Hercog v 2 Simona Halep
Followed By
3rd Rd 1 Novak Djokovic v Federico Delbonis
Not Before 7:30 Pm
3rd Rd Tatjana Maria v 4 Sloane Stephens
Not Before 9:00 Pm
3rd Rd 27 Nick Kyrgios v Dusan Lajovic

Grandstand 12:00 Noon
3rd Rd Yafan Wang v 25 Danielle Collins
Followed By
3rd Rd 12 Milos Raonic v 19 Kyle Edmund
Not Before 4:00 Pm
3rd Rd 14 Daria Kasatkina v Venus Williams
Followed By
3rd Rd 5 Karolina Pliskova v Alizé Cornet
Not Before 7:00 Pm
3rd Rd 11 Borna Coric v Jeremy Chardy

You Might Like:
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Federer Breezes In Basel Opener; Wawrinka v Tiafoe Thurs.
Former Champions Djokovic, Isner Open Miami With Wins, Thiem Upset; Federer, Zverev Today
Zverev Wins 50th, Cilic Out In Basel; Federer Returns Thursday
Miami Open Draw: Federer Returns, Could Face Del Potro In Opener; Djokovic Goes For 3-Peat

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24 Comments for Federer Overcomes Albot In Miami Opener, Ferrer Foils Zverev; Djokovic Returns

Wog Boy Says:

Nole very rusty, but you have to give credit to Delbonis, playing very aggressive, stepping in, I can see him winning this one, by the look of it Nole on his way out of Miami.
This is faster Miami I have seen so far, no elementals involved (but rain), lower bounce, very much indoor conditions.

Wog. Boy Says:

Apart of the win there is no much more Nole should be happy about. Agut will not be so forgiving.
The only excuse for this performance can be some health reasons and that Nole traditionally has problems against players he has never played before.

Wog Boy Says:

Delbonis shoot himself in the foot by taking MTO at the end of the second set, if it was strategically than he was ill advised, he killed his own momentum, he was all over Nole until then. Nole needed that MTO to regroup and he did excatly that.
As for Nole, not much to be happy with from this match but the result, Agut will not be so forgiving.

Wog Boy Says:

sorry for basically double post, I thought first one hasn’t gone through.

Kimberly Says:

Hi all just returned from the tournament. Ive been going almost every day. At first it seemed surreal, a little tacky, lacking in charm and character and full of kinks. After a few days, although it doesn’t have the same approach as the picturesque key Biscayne venue, I think it is for the best. the space distribution seems better although the outer courts have been challenging to access when there is a popular match.The grandstand has had great matches and lots of matches. Tons of practice courts. A lot of gym and practice areas for the players. The parking is easy, the entrance is easy and the resturarants have a wide range from some of the concession stands at the dolphins game to pop of of some of Miami’s finest restaurants.

SO the courts are playoing slow requiring the players to really use angles and volleys to win points. everyone is getting broken no exceptions. Felix’s matches have been vrttually impossible to get in as they are on outer courts and people seem to want to watch him. And any match where an Argentinian plays is packed house and loaded with singers, Schwartzman Opelka was a real madhouse yesterday.

SO I have watched a lot of matches. Watched Khachanov play terrible and behave worse. Ditto Fognini although Karen actually obliterated the racket. Watched a few Venus matches and been very impressed. Was unimpressed with Osaka and Serena. I have watched two Isner matches and I think Opelka has much more upside. Problem is his frist serve perventage is low but the rest of his game is great much more balanced then most of the other big guys. Watched Djokovic and Federer today and yesterday. I did not see thiem or zverev only in practice. Watched Halep a little. Margot will be happy to lknow Kyle played a very solid match today v Raonic. And I was impressed with Bautista Agut and his ultimate professionalism.

Anyway more matches tomorrow cant wait! Wish Rafa was here!

skeezer Says:

Thanks for the report, what a cool great experience. Interesting that courts are slow, some dramatize that it is playing like typical indoor court, lol.
Was really interested in Opelka, the tallest guy on tour? Question, does he have a BH?

Kimberly Says:


He is balanced like a smaller guy. He has a solid cross court two handed backhand. He looks way better than the other biggies but the first serve was unreliable in the match I watched and he wasn’t coming in enough off the first of second.

Wog Boy Says:

Djokovoic about Center Court in Miami:

I’ve never had this kind of experience, so I thought it was really unique. It feels like indoor a little bit. It’s quite different conditions than from playing on the outside courts where it’s quite windy during the day.

Center court has literally no sun after 1 p.m. It does feel like an indoor a little bit. But it’s a nice court. They’ve done a really good job. They have taken I think a very bold step forward in the right direction, this tournament.

For us being part of the Dolphin, Miami Dolphins Stadium, is a treat. Hopefully, we can have even more people filling out the stadium in the next days.”

Wog Boy Says:

But hey, what does he know, he only plays tennis (not too bad) on that stadium, no?

Wog Boy Says:

“Other than that it’s the same ball, the same court speed. Here you have less wind – there’s not much wind that’s able to come in the stadium – and less sun.

“Basically the court is in the shade at 1 o’clock, which is crazy.”

That’s 37 years old talking about the Center Court, basically same without mentioning word “indoor”.

skeezer Says:


Just because there is “shade” on a court does not in any terms make it “like a indoor court”. And this only apparently happens after 1pm? So in the morning it must play like an “outside court’ no? Lol.
Have to agree though the commies mentioned Stadium Court( only ) is playing faster than last year, outer courts slower. This is the tournaments first year so am not surprised it is not as consistent as one that has been settled in for years. They’ll get it right soon..

BTW, there are no “fast courts” anymore…unless something changes in 2019…

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t know if you have reading problem or you are just being ignorant, read again, they are clearly talking about wind, not just shade, and not just players but all commentators, because it’s stadium within another stadium there is no wind plus no natural light for the almost all playing time (1pm means 2 hours in playing time and goes another 10-11 hours, that’s basically 80% of playing hours).
Outside elements (except rain) do not have any influence plus artificial lights, that’s what makes it feel like indoor matches, even when 37 years old clearly states that (forget Nole and others and commentators) you have to twist and turn his words to suit you.

skeezer Says:

You did not give the full context of Feds opinion on the surface. You cherry picked. You did not mention humidity, which is controllable in an indoor court, but not outside, as this one is, and has a big impact on court conditions. Miami is humid.
Read again. Who’s being Ignorant? Or do you have a reading problem?

Kimberly Says:

Watching opelka on court 1 right now in a battle about to be 4-5 in the third

Kimberly Says:

I meant 4-4

Kimberly Says:

Going to watch shapovalov after

skeezer Says:

Cmon.big guy!

skeezer Says:

Out of gas at the end? Looked like some tired serves/strokes at the end. Like to see more him he needs the experience. They didn’t show the whole match on TV just the TB…

Kimberly Says:


He was up 15-30 at the 6-5 game and played a bad shot after getting run corner to corner on finally a neutral ball. He was furious, talking to his box, harping on it. He seemed deflated and then had an unlucky start to the tiebreak and it sort of got away from him.

I do think he has inexepreince, he is allowing opponenets to reset points when he should be capitalizing on his serve and shots. He should be coming to net way more he has good volleys. I thought he played better than in the Schwartzman match.

Kimberly Says:

watched the Bryans play cannot get over the quickness of their hands!

I also watched Federer and Mirka and his parents sat five rows in front of me and Schiavone sat directly in front by herself!

watched Venus and Shapovolov a bit as well. Venus looked like she ran out of gas.

Kimberly Says:

Medvedev is pretty good I think Federer will have his hands full tomorrow night

Wog Boy Says:

How many knowledgeable tennis people I have to quote who are saying that Center Court has a feel like an indoor tournament (not that is indoor tournamet) for the person with reading problem and cheater too when he is saying
“And this only apparently happens after 1pm?”,
really, only after 1pm and we are so stupid that we dont know that matches are strating at noon tomorrow and other days 11am so the players have ONLY one hour sun and next 12 hours shade and artificial light, but yes, agree, shade comes ONLY after 1pm, you are really cunning. One more quote and I give up, I had better things to do than to argue with a person that has reading problem, is ignorant and cheater, this is what Mark Petchey had to say, read slowly and try again if you don’t get it first time;)


nd before he came back to win, match commentator and tennis expert Mark Petchey had sympathy with world No 1 Djokovic.

“It is too dark down there now,” he said on Amazon Prime.

“I am not sure it is a solvable problem as this tournament moves forward.

“From early in the day this court is in shade and it has the feel of an indoor tournament which is unfortunate.

“I am surprised they didn’t have the lights on a bit earlier to be honest. It has not got considerably darker to be fair.”

Wog Boy Says:

I’ll highlight the most imortant part, you are a bit slow today:

“From early in the day this court is in shade and it has the feel of an indoor tournament which is unfortunate.”

Now be a good boy, feed your cats and take your dogs for a walk, but one thing at the time, don’t mess up, you are a bit sluggish today.

skeezer Says:

Sounds like you’re having an awesome experience, appreciate your in person POV.

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