Match Preview

Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Medvedev Headline Fourth-Round Fun In Miami

All last-16 matches are on Tuesday schedule at ATP Masters 1000
March 28, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz is on an eight-match winning streak.
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Carlos Alcaraz is on an eight-match winning streak. By ATP Staff

A host of stars are in action on one of the most exciting days of the ATP Tour calendar Tuesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

All eight fourth-round matches feature on the schedule at Hard Rock Stadium. In the top half of the draw, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner face off for a fifth chapter of their hard-hitting ATP Head2Head rivalry. World No. 1 and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz takes on home favourite Tommy Paul, and Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz meet in the first all-Top 10 clash of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

In the bottom half, Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks to maintain his perfect record against Karen Khachanov, while Daniil Medvedev takes on surprise package Quentin Halys. previews some of the key clashes on an action-packed Day 7 in southern Florida.

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[1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. [16] Tommy Paul (USA)

The World No. 1 Alcaraz seeks to extend his eight-match winning streak against home favourite Paul, but he will be in no doubt as to the threat posed by his 16th-seeded opponent. Paul downed the Spaniard in three sets in the pair’s only previous tour-level meeting in Montreal last August, and Alcaraz is prepared for another stiff challenge on Tuesday inside Hard Rock Stadium.

“He does everything well,” said Alcaraz, who must defend his title to stay at No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after Miami. “He moves well. He is fast. He hits great shots. Big forehand, big backhand. He's going to be really, really tough.”

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Paul is enjoying a stellar 2023 but the 25-year-old, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals and the championship match in Acapulco, will need to bring his best to take down the red-hot Alcaraz. The 19-year-old’s all-around game has looked in fine shape across Indian Wells and Miami as aspires to become the youngest man to complete the coveted ‘Sunshine Double’.

[7] Holger Rune (DEN) vs. [9] Taylor Fritz (USA)

The opening act of Tuesday’s schedule inside Hard Rock Stadium sees Rune take on No. 1 American Fritz in a popcorn Top 10 encounter.

Although 2022 Indian Wells champion Fritz has never been past the fourth round, the 25-year-old’s combination of big serving and aggressive groundstrokes is suited to Miami, where the ball skids through the courts at speed. Fritz will hope to disrupt the rhythm of Rune, whose all-around ability has led him to a career-high No.8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings at the age of 19, in the pair’s first tour-level meeting.

The Dane has excelled on his main-draw debut in Miami, defeating Marton Fucsovics and Diego Schwartzman in straight sets, and he knows how to beat the best at Masters 1000 level — he defeated five Top 10 players in a row, including Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, en route to the Rolex Paris Masters title last November.

[2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. [14] Karen Khachanov

Tsitsipas would do well to look to his past meetings with the 14th-seeded Khachanov ahead of the pair’s fourth-round clash on Grandstand. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist holds a 6-0 ATP Head2Head series lead against the World No. 16, with four of those wins coming at ATP Masters 1000 events.

That suggests the outcome of the pair’s fourth-round clash rests on the Greek’s racquet, but Tsitsipas knows he needs to be vigilant if he wants to maintain his perfect record against Khachanov. The second seed's third-round victory against Cristian Garin was his first match for a month due to an ongoing shoulder issue, and Tsitsipas will need to be serving at full strength in order to nullify his opponent’s sharp return game.

The 2018 Rolex Paris Masters champion Khachanov has gone some way to rectifying his pre-tournament 2-6 Miami record with his run to the fourth round. The 26-year-old has thrived on the big stage in recent times: he reached the semi-finals at the 2022 US Open and then again at the Australian Open in January, when it was Tsitsipas who proved too strong in the final four in Melbourne. Can Khachanov handle a successful revenge mission in Florida?

[4] Daniil Medvedev vs. Quentin Halys (FRA)

Medvedev bounced back from his Indian Wells final defeat to Alcaraz in style in his Miami opener. The fourth seed dropped just three games against Roberto Carballes Baena as his relentless baseline hitting seamlessly transferred to the faster conditions at Hard Rock Stadium.

That extra pace in the courts will also suit his fourth-round opponent in Florida, however. Halys charged past Pedro Martinez, Alex de Minaur and Mackenzie McDonald with some devastating serving displays, making Tuesday’s matchup with return wizard Medvedev an intriguing battle.

The World No. 5 will hope to exploit Halys’ relative inexperience at this level. The No. 79-ranked Frenchman had not won a Masters 1000 main-draw match prior to this event, and he will need to maintain his best form if he is to prevail in the pair’s maiden ATP Head2Head meeting. A third consecutive Miami quarter-final appearance is on the line for Medvedev, who is chasing his first title at this level since 2021.

[6] Andrey Rublev vs. [10] Jannik Sinner (ITA)

Fireworks from the baseline are guaranteed on Grandstand when Rublev and Sinner meet for the first time on an outdoor hard court. Neither player has dropped a set in Miami across their opening two matches and both have a history of success in the fast conditions at Hard Rock Stadium.

The 2021 semi-finalist Rublev’s powerful serve and sledgehammer forehand will likely be key. If he can hit through Sinner consistently, he will be confident of avenging his 2022 Monte Carlo defeat to the Italian, the pair’s only previous Masters 1000 clash. Rublev will be wary of Sinner’s ability to redirect that power to his own advantage, however, particularly at a venue where the Italian reached his only Masters 1000 final in 2021.

A 2-2 ATP Head2Head series record makes the matchup between the World No. 7 Rublev and the World No. 11 Sinner all the more intriguing. The 21-year-old Sinner was unable to complete either of his defeats in that sequence due to injury and the Italian, who is one of the best movers on Tour, will hope his body this time holds up as he bids for his third Top 10 win of the year.

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Also In Action…

The 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp aims to back up his third-round upset of Casper Ruud when he takes on World No. 54 Emil Ruusuvuori. The Dutchman has never been past the third round of an ATP Masters 1000 event, while it is a second fourth-round appearance for Ruusuvuori in Miami — the Finn defeated Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev en route to the last 16 in 2021.

The 2022 semi-finalist Francisco Cerundolo looks to back up his third-round upset of Felix Auger-Aliassime against Lorenzo Sonego, while home qualifier Christopher Eubanks seeks to extend his dream run in Florida when he takes on France’s Adrian Mannarino.

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