Scouting Report: Alcaraz Seeks 'Sunshine Double'; Medvedev & Ruud In Action In Miami
Fresh off his title triumph in Indian Wells, Carlos Alcaraz will look to complete the Sunshine Double when he takes to court this week at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
In a stacked field, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete at the second ATP Masters 1000 event of the year, held at the Hard Rock Stadium for the fifth time.
ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to watch at the outdoor hard-court event in south Florida.
1) Alcaraz In Full Flight: World No. 1 Alcaraz missed more than three months after last year’s Rolex Paris Masters due to injury, but it has been tough to tell based on his form. By winning the BNP Paribas Open, the Spaniard improved to 14-1 on the season, including two titles and a final appearance.
Alcaraz will try to maintain his momentum in Miami, the site of his Masters 1000 breakthrough one year ago. In 2022, the teen became the youngest champion in tournament history. This edition, he will try to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’.
2) Battle For No. 1: There is more than hardware at stake in Miami. Alcaraz must defend his title to remain ahead of Novak Djokovic in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on 3 April. Anything less and the Serbian will return to top spot. Alcaraz last year became the youngest World No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings history (since 1973).
3) Medvedev Begins A New Streak: Despite his loss to Alcaraz in the Indian Wells final, Medvedev has proven over the past month he is back to his best. The 27-year-old won three consecutive titles in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai before impressing at Indian Wells, where only Alcaraz was able to stop him. Medvedev has reached the Miami quarter-finals in each of the past two years and will try to battle even further into the draw this edition.
4) Ruud Former Finalist: Casper Ruud enjoyed a standout season on hard courts in 2022, and it all began in Miami, where the Norwegian reached his first Masters 1000 final behind wins over the likes of Cameron Norrie and Alexander Zverev. The 24-year-old, who also made the final at last year’s US Open and Nitto ATP Finals, will try to secure his maiden Masters 1000 crown this visit to Miami.
5) Fritz Spearheads Home Charge: A host of American men line up eager to become the first home champion since John Isner in 2018. World No. 10 Taylor Fritz leads the way at a tournament where he reached the Round of 16 in each of the past two years. Fritz, who already won a title earlier this year in Delray Beach, will try to claim his second Masters 1000 trophy after triumphing last year at Indian Wells.
6) Tiafoe & Paul In Form: Fritz is not the only American in the Miami spotlight. Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul are both playing the best tennis of their career. Tiafoe advanced to the Indian Wells semi-finals after breaking through for a trip to the last four at last year’s US Open, while Paul made this year’s Australian Open semi-finals and followed up with a run to the Acapulco championship match.
7) Former Champs: Alongside Alcaraz and Isner, Hubert Hurkacz and Andy Murray are the only other former Miami champions in the draw. The 2021 winner Hurkacz is chasing his second ATP Tour title of the season while 2009 and 2013 titlist Murray will hope to build on his 29-10 record at the event. The former World No. 1 recently won four three-setters en route to the Doha final.
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8) Tsitsipas Striving For Success: Stefanos Tsitsipas made a quick start to his season in Australia, where he won four matches for Greece at the United Cup and then reached the Australian Open final. The 24-year-old will chase his first title of 2023 — and his 10th tour-level trophy overall — in Miami, where he made the quarter-finals two years ago. The Greek is pursuing his third Masters 1000 crown.
9) More Players To Watch: There are plenty of players to keep your eyes on, including home favourite Ben Shelton, who thrilled fans with his power and on-court energy Down Under, where he advanced to the quarter-finals. This will be the lefty’s Miami debut. It will also be Jiri Lehecka’s first appearance at the tournament. The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up harnessed his power to great effect at the Australian Open, where like Shelton he blasted his way to the quarter-finals.
10) Hurkacz/Isner Defending Doubles Champs: Hurkacz and Isner lifted the doubles trophy in 2022 and they are entered to defend their title this year. The Polish-American duo will face a loaded field, including top seeds Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski and Indian Wells champions Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden.