Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray: Miami Masters Contenders
The Sony Open in Miami rolls into town this week, and eight of the top 10 ranked players in the world will lock horns to capture the second Masters 1000 title of the year.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic enters the tournament on the back of a semifinal appearance at Indian Wells last week. Great Britain's Andy Murray is the No. 2 seed due to the absence of Roger Federer with third-seed David Ferrer a possible semifinal opponent. Tomas Berdych rounds up the the top four seeds.
Other notable contenders for the title, like Indian Wells finalist Juan Martin del Potro, lie in Djokovic's half of the draw with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Murray's half.
Djokovic enters this tournament as a three-time winner and current defending champion.
Having been installed as favorite for the Indian Wells title, the Serb fell short in his title push when he met an inspired Juan Martin del Potro.
Djokovic's early-season form has seen him to titles at the Australian Open and in Dubai and leaves no doubt about his status as the best player on hard courts at this moment in time.
The Serb's famous 2011 form has regressed, but staying strong on the basics of his game is usually enough to see him past most opponents.
The world's No. 1 has improved his net play as well as his serve and should be a strong contender for the title as usual.
There isn't a lot to say about Andy Murray's form heading into Miami.
The last extended period of play we saw from him was at the Australian Open, and he was far from convincing at Indian Wells—although, to be fair, he has never looked particularly good in that tournament.
Miami, however, is a different story.
As well as being a previous winner at the tournament and a finalist last year, the Miami court is Murray's training base. He ought to know that court better than any of the current top four in the world.
Murray is a known slow-starter, and his performance at Indian Wells (lost to Del Potro in the quarterfinals) was predicted by some—including myself.
This, however, is where it could all change. The Brit has a benign draw and should go deep into this tournament.
Who will win the 2013 Miami Masters title?
Juan Martin del Potro
In the eyes of some, Del Potro's performance last week at Indian Wells was enough to make him player of the tournament ahead of tournament-winner Rafael Nadal. And if you consider what he achieved, you can certainly see where they are coming from.
On his way to the final, Del Potro rolled back the years to a time when his forehand was the most fearsome stroke in tennis and defeated both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic from a set down. And, in the final, he also took Rafael Nadal all the way to the last point of the match.
Some people went on to say that Del Potro was back, but others had seen too many false positives in the recent past to be taken in by what they'd witnessed over the past week.
The Argentine is still searching for his first Masters 1000 title, and, although he wouldn't be my pick for the title, he is a genuine contender given the absence of Federer and Nadal.
Who do you think will win the 2013 Miami Masters title?
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