ATP Premier: Round of 32 Selected Matches Preview

Tennis player stands with racquet in hand

We preview selected matches from the Round of 32 at the ATP Miami Masters set to take place on 26 and 27 March. 

Alex Zverev 11/20 | David Ferrer 14/10
Young German superstar Alex Zverev is one of the so-called ‘NextGen’, waiting to inherit the keys to the kingdom held for so long by Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. But it just hasn’t happened for Zverev following an incredible rise to prominence on the American Hardcourts last season. He had a semi-final appearance in Mexico, but he has largely been disappointing this season, culminating in that defeat to Joao Sousa last week in Indian Wells. He was also pushed to the limits in his opening encounter against an admittedly pugnacious Medvedev. I am yet to be convinced by the young German and he plays a true competitor here in David Ferrer.

The veteran Spaniard started the year well with a semi-final run in Auckland, ultimately losing to the resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro. He then had a heartbreaking five set defeat in the first round of the Aussie Open against Rublev. Since then he has lost some tight matches with the Argentine Del Potro, including a fairly tight Round of 32 defeat to Delpo in Indian Wells last week. But Ferrer will certainly benefit from the slower conditions this week. Furthermore, he has a positive head-to-head record against the rising German star. 

Ferrer leads the head-to-head 2-1, though Zverev won their last encounter in quite convincing fashion in Rotterdam earlier this year. Having said that, Ferrer is a hell of a competitor and seems to thrive on any perceived weakness in opponents. 

As I said earlier, the slower courts here may play into the Spaniard’s hands, lending towards the type of protracted points that the diminutive Ferrer thrives on. Ferrer looks like great value at 14/10. 

Nick Kyrgios 4/10 | Fabio Fognini 37/20
The truculent Kyrgios had a brilliant start to the year, winning the Brisbane title before losing a titanic Round of 16 dual with Grigor Dimitrov in his native Grand Slam. Since then he has been afflicted by injury, but he returns to an event that he seems to thrive. His semi-final defeat to Federer last season was perhaps the match of the season, and in his victory over Lajovic in the Round of 64 there were no signs of ring-rust. 

Journeyman Fabio Fognini has actually had quite an impressive year to date. He started the season with a semi-final run in Sydney. He then went on to likely exceed expectations in Melbourne, with a credible Round of 16 showing. He then went on to a brilliant clay-court adventure in South America, reaching the semi-finals in Rio before winning the title in Sao Paulo. He clearly is more comfortable on the clay-courts, and his performance at Indian Wells last week hardly one with confidence. However, it seems that Fognini is in some of the best form of his career and will be a threat this week, especially considering the fact that the courts are so slow here. 

This will be the first time that the two have met. I think that Fognini actually could be decent value at 37/20. 

Written by Damien Kayat for

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