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Miami Open Men’s Draw: Medvedev aims to recapture No 1 ranking as Big 3 remain absent

With the Big 3 being on the sidelines at the Miami Open, Daniil Medvedev will have the spotlight on him as he attempts to reclaim the world No 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev at the BNP Paribas Open 2022 Daniil Medvedev at the BNP Paribas Open 2022 Image Credit: Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

The second ATP Masters Series of the 2022 season, the Miami Open, gets underway this week with the focus on the men’s side falling on Daniil Medvedev, who has a chance to recapture the world No 1 spot this fortnight. With the absence of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, tennis fans will get another taste of life without the Big 3. Let’s take a look at some of the key contenders in each section of the draw.

First Quarter: Medvedev needs to reach semis to unseat Djokovic from No 1 spot

Russia's Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his quarter final match against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in Acapulco
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his quarter final match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in Acapulco Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The big storyline to follow in Miami for the men’s draw will be if Daniil Medvedev can stack up enough points to unseat Novak Djokovic from the top ranking. The 25-year-old would have been disappointed with his third-round exit at Indian Wells and will need to reach the semis in Miami to become the world’s top-ranked player again.

Medvedev could face a tough test in his first match as he awaits the winner of the first-round clash between four-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray and Argentine Federico Delbonis. The reigning US Open champion has 27th seed Cristian Garin, of Chile, as his projected third-round opponent and then could run into 15th seed Roberto Bautista Agut or 18th seed Nokoloz Basilavashili in the fourth round. Also watch out for the fast-rising American Jenson Brooksby in this part of the draw, who could give Basilavashili a tough time in the second round.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the defending Miami Open champion, is Medvedev’s projected quarter-final opponent. The Pole has the big-hitting 29th seed Aslan Karatsev, who is struggling to replicate his breakthrough 2021 season results, in the third round, and 12th seed Denis Shapovalov or 24th seed Dan Evans in the last 16.

Second Quarter: Fritz and Alcaraz will hope to extend Indian Wells gains in Miami

Taylor Fritz returns a shot against Jaume Munar of Spain during the 2022 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.
Taylor Fritz returns a shot against Jaume Munar of Spain during the 2022 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime are the projected quarter-finalists in this part of the draw but there will be plenty of attention on Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz and Spanish teen phenom Carlos Alcaraz.

Fritz won his first ATP Masters title beating Nadal in Sunday’s final and looks set to play in the Miami Open despite the ankle injury he sustained over the weekend. Seeded 11th, Fritz has 23rd seed Karen Khachanov as his third-round draw, and a possible fourth-round against Auger-Aliassime.

Alcaraz, who reached his first ATP Masters semi-final at Indian Wells, could face the Croatian veteran Marin Cilic, seeded 21st, in the third round, and could run into Tsitsipas in the last 16. The Greek player is still hoping to find some consistency after his elbow injury at the end of last season and will be hoping Miami can jumpstart his season. Also in this part of the draw is former world No 5 Jo-WIlfried Tsonga, who could meet 25th seed Alex de Minaur in the second round.

Third Quarter: Rublev chasing first Masters Series title at Miami Open

Russia's Andrey Rublev celebrates with the trophy after winning the Dubai Tennis Championships final match against Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely
Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates with the trophy after winning the Dubai Tennis Championships final match against Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Andrey Rublev was on a 13-match winning streak before he was finally defeated by Fritz in the Indian Wells semis. The 24-year-old is still looking for his first ATP Masters title, after being a runner-up twice at this level in the past.

Rublev could have to deal with a motivated Nick Kyrgios in the second round. The Australian, who reached the quarter-finals at Indian Wells last week, opens against French veteran Adrian Mannarino. Further down the road ninth seed Jannik Sinner, who reached his first ATP Masters final here 12 months ago, looms in the fourth round.

Fourth seed Matteo Berrettini is the top seed in this quarter of the Miami Open draw. The Italian has a 9-6 record in 2022 and will be hoping to put himself back in the mix with a good showing this fortnight. Berrettini is drawn to meet 28th seed Frances Tiafoe in the third round and either 16th seed Reilly Opelka or 22nd seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round.

Fourth Quarter: Zverev, Ruud are top seeds in this quarter

Germany's Alexander Zverev in action at the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano in 2022
Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action at the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano in 2022 Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Second seed Alexander Zverev will be hoping to bring the focus back to his tennis after the default incident in Acapulco and the second round loss at Indian Wells. Currently on probation, the German could meet the returning Croatian Borna Coric in the second round, the always-dangerous 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the third round, and Argentine Diego Schwartzman, seeded 13th, in the last 16.

Zverev’s projected quarter-final opponent is the sixth seed Casper Ruud. The Norwegian has 30th seed Alexander Bublik and 10th seed Cameron Norrie in his path to the last eight. One to watch for in this section is the British wild card Jack Draper, who has won three ATP Challengers this season already. The 20-year-old meets French veteran Gilles Simon in the first round and could meet countryman Norrie in round two.

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