Andy Murray will come into the final of the 2013 Miami Masters against David Ferrer as a strong favorite following his tournament and season success so far.
However, the British star won't necessarily have it all his own way against the Spaniard, who will make for a very tough final opponent for Murray—and one that he might not necessarily breeze past like the general consensus expects him to in the final.
Ferrer has already played a number of strong opponents in the tournament so far with great success, and he will hold no fear in taking on the tournament's No. 2 seed.
He beat an in-form Kei Nishikori in the third round and stopped the streaking Tommy Haas in the semifinals as well. Which might not seem like the greatest achievement, but given that Haas had beaten Novak Djokovic and Gilles Simon, it meant he certainly wasn't the easiest opponent to beat.
Especially not when compared to Murray's opponents so far.
All have been strong players, but none have had the attacking potency to trouble the Brit. Moreover, none have possessed the mental tenacity or defensive skills capable to stick with Murray when the No. 2 seed takes his game to that next level.
What Murray does well—defend brilliantly and never give up points—Ferrer does even better, and he's therefore a great matchup for the No. 2 seed here.
Few would argue that the Brit has a better offensive arsenal at his disposal, for that is easy to see. His serve and quick follow-through make him a deadly player on his day, and one that is more than capable of hitting a plethora of winners.
However, against Ferrer's dogged determination, he'll find that much harder.
Ferrer has already shown himself to be a big-game performer in 2013, with a very strong 23-4 record leading into this match. And given that two of those losses were against Rafael Nadal and Djokovic in finals and semifinals, respectively, that record seems very strong indeed.
Murray is clearly a lot stronger than he was mentally in years gone by, and he could well emerge victorious from this final as a result. But against the defensive skills of Ferrer—who can become the aggressor when needed—he'll have a much tougher time than many expect.
I'd say first set to the Brit before Ferrer fights back gallantly in the second to take the set and then go on to post a commanding lead in the third.
How Murray rallies from that point will determine the outcome of this match and give us a great indication of exactly where both players are at in 2013.
Look for Ferrer to be a huge danger in the final here.
Who will win the 2013 Miami Masters final? Andy Murray or David Ferrer?
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