Miami Masters: Dodig Reaches Second Round
The 26-year-old Croatian will next play fourth favorite Robin Soderling who is already qualified for the second term. Dodig’s late rally allowed him to go six games adrift and break the Kazakhstan’s player every time he got the service. But the opener, by contrast, looked very tough for the Croatian who could only push the opener into tie-break and concede it in what could have been a terrible turning point. Fortunately for the 57th-ranked, Dodig managed to develop a much better tennis within the second set, but also a stunning one in the last one.
That was also the first meeting between the two, the Croatian being expected now to play Soderling in what will also be a first meeting between them. The Swede has already claimed three titles this season, including the first tournament of the year, Brisbane, as well as the Dutch event in Rotterdam and the Marseille Open.
2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who could face Soderling in the third round if both progress, will also play the first round at the Miami Masters. Winner of the 2011 Delray Beach, the Argentine is to meet Brazilian Ricardo Mello in the opener, the winner of the two being expected to face Philipp Kohlschreiber who enters directly into the second term. This will also be the first rendezvous between the two South Americans with the 51st ATP Del Potro starting as favorite.
Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who is still chasing his first success of the year, will start the Miami Masters with a first round against Paolo Lorenzi of Italy. Winner of ten ATP titles, the 38-seeded Ljubicic could play Richard Gasquet in the second term, the French being already qualified for the second phase.
On the same half of the table, Julien Benneteau of France and Spaniard Daniel Gimeno will also fight for a place into the next round and a clash with the crowd favorite Mardy Fish, who hasn’t got to claim any title this season. The 26-year-old Indian Somdev Devvarman, who has showed some great shape this year, is to meet Potito Starace in the opener. The 47th-ranked Italian will start the game as favorite and could face Canadian Milos Raonic in the next term.
Host Robert Kendrick is to confront Russian Igor Kunitsyn in the first round, the winner between the two being expected to play this year’s Auckland and Acapulco champions David Ferrer. Another tought opener will bring Xavier Malisse and Ryan Sweeting face to face, in what will be the second meeting between the two. The Belgian leads the head to head confrontation thanks to the 2010 Atlanta last 32 round win. Michael Llodra is the one to play the winner of this opener.
One of the first round surprises came from Mikhail Kukushkin who has progressed into the second term after ousting Finnish Jarkko Nieminen in three sets, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Kazakhstan’s player will next meet crowd favorite Sam Querrey. Pablo Andujar has also advanced into the next term of the Masters. The Spaniard beat Aussie Bernard Tomic 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, being expected to play compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the next term.
Andreas Seppi is to face Mischa Zverev in the opener, the winner being expected to play Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round. On the same first half of the table, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Daniel Brands will fight for a place into the next term with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga playing the winner of the two.
Winner of the 2011 Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires Nicolas Almagro will next meet either Frederico Gil of Portugal or Chilean Paul Capdeville. Meanwhile, Florian Mayer is to play Ivo Karlovic in the opener, while Albert Montanes will confront the winner. Tomas Berdych has also qualified into the second round, the Czech playing either Adrian Mannarino or Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.
With Roger Federer placed on the first half of the table, Radek Stepanek will surely have some hard times against the former world champion if the Czech passes Italian Fabio Fognini in the opener. Sergiy Stakhovsky will meet Grigor Dimitrov, while Blaz Kavcic and Olivier Rochus are to share the same first round on Wednesday. The winners of the two openers will play Juan Monaco and Marcos Baghdatis respectively.
Another tough meeting sees Philipp Petzschner fighting Florent Serra in what will be their third meeting. The German leads the head to head confrontations 2-0, his last victory dating from 2009 when Petzschner defeated the 76th-ranked French in straight sets in Hamburg. Janko Tipsarevic starts the Robin Haase clash as favorite. The two haven’t met before in an ATP Tour event, but the Dutch has already won a qualifier round at the Sunrise tournament in Florida back in 2008.
Promising Ryan Harrison is to play Rainer Schuttler in the opener, the winner being expected to meet this year’s Sydney champion Gilles Simon in the second term. Another interesting first round clash is to be brought by Pablo Cuevas and Michael Berrer. The German beat the 67th-seeded Cuevas last year in the last 16 round of the Vienna event.
Marcel Granollers is also expected to meet tough Benjamin Becker in what will be their first meeting. The 2011 Chennai champion Stanislas Wawrinka will play the winner between the two.
Miami Masters Prize money and points:
Winner – $611,000 and 1000 points ATP
Runner-up – $298,200 and 600 points ATP
Semi finalist – $149,450 and 360 points ATP
Quarter finalist – $76,195 and 180 points ATP
R16 – $40,160 and 90 points ATP
R32 – $21,495 and 45 points ATP
R64 – $11,605 and 25 points ATP
R96 – $7,115 and 10 points ATP11