A Look Back At The 2019 Miami Open Presented By Itau
New venue, same drama under the Florida sun. The move to the Hard Rock Stadium was welcomed with plenty of riveting storylines and pulsating moments over the past fortnight in Miami. From an eight match point saving performance in the first round to Roger Federer adding to his trophy haul, relive the best moments of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau...
Roger Romps For Fourth Miami Title: Federer dropped his first set of the tournament, against Radu Albot, but the Swiss was in cruise control from there. He did not drop another frame all week, dominating the field en route to his 101st title, 28th at the ATP Masters 1000 level and fourth in Miami.
It all culminated with a convincing 6-1, 6-4 win over John Isner in the final. Federer has not only reached three straight finals, posting a 15-1 record in that span, but he adds a Miami crown to his 2019 championship silverware in Dubai.
Metal Hip For The Championship: Less than three months after kicking off his comeback from hip surgery, Bob Bryan returned to the Masters 1000 winners' circle with brother Mike Bryan. Bob was diving on his metal hip in a thrilling semi-final win, which saw the Americans save four match points, and he and Mike would clinch their sixth Miami crown a day later.
The Bryans defeated Wesley Koolhof and Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-6(6) for their 118th tour-level title and 39th at the Masters 1000 level.
“A doctor was cutting me open eight months ago and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it back on court,” said Bob. “To win this title is a dream and certainly wasn’t possible eight months ago. This is huge for us.”
Isner's Miami Mastery: One year ago, the 6'10" American celebrated his first ATP Masters 1000 title on home soil in Miami. Despite falling one win short of retaining his crown, Isner produced a dominant display all fortnight in South Florida.
Not only did the World No. 9 refuse to drop a set en route to the championship match, but he went 9-0 in tie-breaks, topping the likes of Kyle Edmund, Roberto Bautista Agut and an inspired Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semis. It was his 27th tour-level final in total.
Hard Rock Stadium Debuts To Rave Reviews: After 32 years, the Miami Open presented by Itau made the move from Crandon Park to Hard Rock Stadium, with 2019 marking the first year at the new venue. With a 14,000 person capacity stadium and expansive grounds that include 28 additional courts, needless to say the state-of-the-art facility has been a stirring success from first ball to last. Players and fans soaked in the energy and excitement throughout the fortnight at the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Canadian Teens Shine: It was a tournament to remember for Canadian tennis. Not one, but two #NextGenATP stars surged into the spotlight, with Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both reaching the semi-finals. The teens announced their arrival on one of the ATP Tour's biggest stages and added their names to the record books along the way.
It marked the first time since 2007 that multiple teenagers reached the semis of a Masters 1000 event. The teens created such a buzz that even Federer took note and was full of praise for the future standard bearers of the sport.
Bautista Agut Digs Deep: Comeback of the tournament? How about comeback of the year? Roberto Bautista Agut reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a stunning 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Novak Djokovic in the fourth round. The Spaniard had dropped seven of the first eight games, falling behind by a set and a break, before storming back to upset the World No. 1 and six-time champion. Djokovic was previously 39-0 in Miami when winning the first set.
Not to be outdone, earlier in the tournament, Mischa Zverev rallied from eight match points down to defeat Nicola Kuhn.
Why Is This Guy Retiring?: David Ferrer turned in a vintage display under the lights at Hard Rock Stadium, exhibiting his trademark grit and determination to upset Alexander Zverev from a set down. The 36-year-old, who is retiring from professional tennis next month, gave fans plenty to cheer for. It was his first win over a Top 5 opponent since 2015.
Hubi's Heroics: One week after reaching his first Masters 1000 quarter-final at the BNP Paribas Open, Hubert Hurkacz made his mark in Miami. He earned the first Top 5 win of his career with a straight-set defeat of Indian Wells champ Dominic Thiem. The Pole's new partnership with coach Craig Boynton is already paying dividends.
Roger & Rafa, 15 Years On: Fifteen years ago, a straight-set result in the Miami third round marked the beginning of tennis' most legendary rivalry. Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal was born.
Kevin Had Roger's Attention: Prior to Federer's quarter-final encounter against Kevin Anderson, the Swiss provided an early candidate for quote of the year, exclaiming, "If you beat me at Wimbledon, you've got my attention."
Safe to say, Federer was dialed-in for their seventh FedEx ATP Head2Head clash, producing a 6-0, 6-4 masterclass.
Shapo's Rallying Cry: Shapovalov is set to make his Top 20 debut in the ATP Rankings after a stirring semi-final run in Miami. Perhaps his most impressive achievement of the fortnight was his trio of comebacks from a set down, exhibiting great poise under pressure. The 19-year-old rallied past Daniel Evans in the first round, followed by comeback wins over fellow #NextGenATP stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe.
Felix Not Scared Of Losing: Like his countryman, Auger-Aliassime is also ready for an ATP Rankings milestone, breaking into the Top 50 for the first time. Earlier in the tournament, the youngest semi-finalist in Miami history admitted he is not scared of losing. In fact, he embraced his defeat to Isner with a solo practice session immediately following the match. Immense talent and the work ethic to go with it.
Nick At Night: Underarm serve? Check. No-look volley? Check. Radar-busting forehands? Check. Nick Kyrgios pulled out all the tricks in his bag in a blistering, yet entertaining, third-round win over Dusan Lajovic.
Shot Of The Tournament: And the Aussie wasn't done there. In his next match, against Borna Coric, Kyrgios hit the shot of the tournament, firing a jaw-dropping tweener that brought the Miami faithful to its feet.
Kecmanovic Takes Over Media Day: One week after reaching his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Indian Wells, Miomir Kecmanovic was put to the test on Miami media day. The Serbian teen played Next Gen reporter for the day, asking the tough questions to Federer, Djokovic and others.
Mackie Marooned On I-95: It takes a lot to deflate a lucky loser who has just toughed out a first-round third-set tie-break win. But standing on the side of Interstate 95, just north of Miami, at close to three o'clock in the morning is enough to dampen any man's mood.
The Newest Member Of 'Team Zverev': Alexander Zverev went all in during a visit to the Humane Society of Greater Miami, prior to the tournament. A scheduled half-hour promotional visit to the dog and cat adoption facility turned into a significantly longer commitment when he left with a two-month-old terrier mix.
Tipsy Turns Back The Clock: Janko Tipsarevic went 570 days without a tour-level match win before advancing to the second round in Miami. After struggling with a litany of lower-body injuries over the years, the former World No. 8 has found a new inspiration to continue fighting: five-year-old daughter, Emili.
Back From The Sofa: Last February, Andrey Rublev reached his career-high ATP Ranking of No. 31. Two months later, he was at home on the sofa, recoving from a stress fracture in his lower back. But the Russian rediscovered his form in a hurry in Miami, scoring one of his biggest victories over ninth seed Marin Cilic, en route to the third round as a qualifier.
What's Your Florida Man?: Grigor Dimitrov, John Isner, Steve Johnson, Jeremy Chardy and Radu Albot take on the 'Florida Man' challenge.