Miami Open Masters 2022: Men’s Final Schedule, Predictions After Semifinal Results

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 2, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain reacts, to scoring a point in the first set against Hubert Hurkacz, of Poland, during the semifinals of the Miami Open tennis tournament Friday, April 1, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

No. 6 seed Casper Ruud will face No. 14 seed Carlos Alcaraz in the Miami Open final after the conclusion of semifinal play on Friday.

The 23-year-old Ruud defeated unseeded Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 6-4 before the 18-year-old Alcaraz took down No. 8 seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2).

The final match will begin on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Tennis Channel will air the match.

Predicting the final is a tough exercise.

Ruud is flying into the Miami Open finals in tremendous form. 

Four of five Ruud's Miami Open wins have come via straight sets. He still largely dominated during his toughest straight-set test, which was a 6-3, 6-4 Round of 16 win over Cameron Norrie.

The lone three-set exception was an upset win over No. 2 Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals: 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. It was a tremendous performance for the Norwegian against the ATP's No. 4 overall player.

Ruud saved his best for last, though, in a 6-1, 6-4 semifinal win over Francisco Cerundolo. Ruud had an 83-percent winning percentage on his first serve, smacking six aces. He also won 4-of-8 break point attempts.

Neither of Ruud's first two opponents—Henri Laaksonen and Alexander Bublik—even had a break-point attempt. Norrie and Cerundolo won one break point apiece.

And with that, Ruud became the first-ever Norwegian to make a Masters 1000 Final:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

The first Norwegian to ever make a Masters 1000 final 🇳🇴<a href="https://twitter.com/CasperRuud98?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CasperRuud98</a> ends Cerundolo’s Cinderella run 6-4 6-1 to reach Championship Sunday in Miami!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MiamiOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/zzncHrkLkU">pic.twitter.com/zzncHrkLkU</a>

Alcaraz' road to the final hasn't been as smooth, although it started that way. He breezed through the first three rounds with straight-set wins over Marton Fucsovics, No. 21 seed Marin Cilic and No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The win over Tsitsipas proved to be a great effort: Alcaraz won 4-of-11 break-point chances and fended off 7-of-8 break point tries from his opponent. Alcaraz also won 69 percent of his first-serve points.

The quarterfinal versus Miomir Kecmanovic was far more difficult. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Alcaraz roared back to win the second set 6-3 before winning a tiebreaker of his own, 7-6 (5).

Thus, there would be no letdown after Alcaraz beat Tsitsipas.

The semifinal was once again a tough matchup, with neither Alcaraz or Hurkacz winning any of their three break-point attempts. However, Alcaraz pulled through in both tiebreakers to move onto his first-ever Masters 1000 final.

José Morgado @josemorgado

Carlos Alcaraz is the 4th youngest ever player to reach a Masters 1000 final, as he beats the defending champion Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(5), 7-6(2) to reach the title match in Miami against Casper Ruud. Two first time ATP M1000 finalists.<br><br>18 years, 333 days.<br><br>[getty] <a href="https://t.co/D5KIzLdyQT">pic.twitter.com/D5KIzLdyQT</a>

Alcaraz could very well be on the fast track to becoming the No. 1 player in the world. The rising star showed out at the U.S. Open with a quarterfinal finish, and he's done nothing but dominate since losing a five-set thrilled to Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open's Round of 32.

He's gone 15-1 since then, with his only loss occurring to Rafael Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals. He's also got a tendency to play well versus Top 10 opponents, and he already has a win versus Ruud:

ATP Media Info @ATPMediaInfo

For 2nd straight year, <a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiOpen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiOpen</a> final features 2 1st-time <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ATPMasters1000?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ATPMasters1000</a> finalists.<br><br>2021: <a href="https://twitter.com/HubertHurkacz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HubertHurkacz</a> d. <a href="https://twitter.com/janniksin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JannikSin</a> <br>2022: <a href="https://twitter.com/CasperRuud98?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CasperRuud98</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/alcarazcarlos03?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlcarazCarlos03</a><br><br>Alcaraz is 1-0 vs No. 8 Ruud and 6-6 vs Top 10, including <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MiamiOpen</a> wins over No. 5 Tsitsipas and No. 10 Hurkacz.

That victory occurred 6-2, 6-4 on the clay in Marbella, Spain last year, so that might not be the best predictor when considering this matchup will be on hard courts.

Needless to say, the future might be now for Alcaraz.

Chris Fowler @cbfowler

He's not only The Future. He's here right now. At 18, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/carlosalcaraz?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#carlosalcaraz</a> muscles into the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MiamiOpen</a> final, behind two inspired, unpredictable, beautiful executed tie breaks. It's obvious, the whole crowd know they are seeing someone special. Fun collision with Caspar Ruud SUN

The guess here is he lives on the edge one more time and defeats Ruud in three sets, with the third set coming via tiebreaker.