Tuesday 20 March 2012

Miami Masters 2012 - Big 4, Big 3 or Big Servers???

 Our guest writer, Idrees Arif, is back with a preview of Sony Ericsson Open 2012. Let us see what Idrees has in mind:
The best tennis guys now move from California to Florida, as we are in the middle of the two biggest ATP events (Grand Slams don’t count as ATP events).
The 2nd of the “9” ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events kicks off on Wednesday. Talking of Masters 1000 events, its worth mentioning here that Federer and Nadal both now stand at “19” Masters Series titles, a record.
The tournament became Ericsson Open from Lipton Championships in 2000, became NASDAQ-100 Open in 2002 and is being played as Sony Ericsson Open since 2007. The sponsors might have changed frequently, but the spirit of the tournament has always been on a higher level.
The draw is out and puts Nadal and Federer in two different halves, which is always a good prospect. Should the draw follow the seeds, it would be Djokovic vs Federer and Nadal vs Murray in the semi-finals of Sony Ericsson 2012. Will the Big 4 make it to the semi-finals or will Big servers step up again to upset one or more of the Big 4???
Djokovic’s form and consistency is beyond doubt. As for Federer, he is on a 15 match winning streak, has won 39 of his last 41 matches and he has had revenge of both of the losses during this span – against Nadal in the Australian Open semi-final 2012 and a Davis Cup loss to Isner. So, we can say that the top half “super-semi” is almost assured.
Nadal vs Murray semi-final has some doubts, as Nadal has super-serving Isner in his quarter, and Murray   will have a potential third round encounter with Raonic and a potential quarter-final against Berdych/Nalbandian.
Who has won the most titles since 2002? Lets have a look at the Singles Finals since 2002:
2002   Andre Agassi def Roger Federer 6–3 6–3 3–6 6–4
2003   Andre Agassi def Carlos Moya 6–3 6–3
2004   Andy Roddick def Guillermo Coria 6–7 6–3 6–1 retired
2005   Roger Federer def Rafael Nadal 2–6 6–7(4–7) 7–6(7–5) 6–3 6–1
2006   Roger Federer def Ivan Ljubicic 7–6(7–5) 7–6(7–4) 7–6(8–6)
2007   Novak Djokovic def Guillermo Canas 6–3 6–2 6–4
2008   Nikolay Davydenko def Rafael Nadal 6–4 6–2
2009   Andy Murray def Novak Djokovic 6–2 7–5
2010   Andy Roddick def Tomas Berdych 7–5 6–4
2011   Novak Djokovic def Rafael Nadal 4–6 6–3 7–6(7–4)

Amongst the current players, Federer, Roddick and Djokovic have won 2 titles each, with Murray and Davydenko also having won it once. If Federer and Roddick get through their opening matches, they will face off in the 3rd round. Nadal is the only one of the Big 4 who has yet to win this title, However, he was a runner-up in ‘05, ‘08, ’11 against Federer, Davydenko and Djokovic respectively.
As a last note, Olympic Gold-Silver-Bronze Medalist, Australian Open Finalist and Former World No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez will be making his final appearance on the tour at Miami. His last appearance on the tour, at Copa Claro, saw him reach the Quarterfinals losing to the eventual champion, current World No.5 David Ferrer. He will be facing French Nicolas Mahut in the 1st round.
We wish Gonzo a very happy future and look forward to great contests of sport at the Crandon Park.
How do you see Idrees's preview? Here is his Indian Wells 2012 Preview. Keep us posted about your views.

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