Every player has debuted at the Miami Open now so conditions are known by all remaining competitors. The heat in the first week has caused some problems and the top players will surely look to conserve energy where they can in these early rounds. The players are trying to win through to the round-of-16 but who will make it?
ATP Miami Open Day Five Predictions
Frances Tiafoe vs Dusan Lajovic
Head-to-head: Tiafoe 1-1 Lajovic
This has the feel of a difficult match to call. Both players are inconsistent on tour. Both have weapons that can hurt the other player but the decisive factor in this matchup may come in the unforced errors column. Whichever of these men can reduce their errors enough will probably come out on top.
Current form also has the players difficult to separate. Lajovic has found Marton Fucsovics stopping his path twice recently but pulled off a great win over Daniil Medvedev. Tiafoe has been winning but making heavy weather of it this week and this leads me to believe that he isn’t quite in the rhythm he may need to take this one. The greater variety and potentially higher ceiling of the Lajovic game at the moment gives him the edge here.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Roberto Bautista Agut
Head-to-head: Bautista Agut 4-1 Struff
It really doesn’t surprise me that the German has such a poor career record against Bautista Agut. The Spaniard just loves a player who can provide him with pace and he can just use his movement to hunt the ball and re-direct that pace against them. However, their last meeting on a hard court was only last year and Struff found a way to beat that game and edge a tight two-setter.
Bautista Agut has certainly been the player in better form in 2021 though. He made the final in both Montpellier and Doha recently whilst Struff had won only one match since the Australian Open until the opening match here. It would be a surprise if Struff were able to take this match, expect Bautista Agut to be too solid on serve and in rallies to allow the German to take the match away.
Prediction: Bautista Agut in 2
Cameron Norrie vs Taylor Fritz
Head-to-meeting: Norrie 3-2 Fritz
These players will know each other very well. All five of their previous encounters have come since 2019 and all of them on a hard surface. This gives us a solid bank of form to analyse for the match, however.
Despite Norrie leading the head to head it is in fact Fritz that has won the most points over the five matches. The American has a higher hold percentage as well so clearly, Norrie has been able to win the key points in their previous clashes. Both men carry decent form into this clash as well and we can expect two confident performers on court. However, the analysis is leading me to think that Fritz may just have the edge in this one but expect it to be tight and probably take a deciding set to separate the two.
Prediction: Fritz in 3
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin
Head-to-head: Medvedev 2-0 Popyrin
The Russian may still have some questions to answer at the very top level but is becoming something of a machine outside of those Grand Slam finals. Popyrin though is probably in the best form of his life and has a title under his belt now having won in Singapore in February.
The key to this match will be whether Popyrin’s improvement is enough to turn around the dominance shown by Medvedev in their previous meetings. Looking to the stats it is clear that it will be tough for Popyrin to break the Medvedev serve, it is the weakest part of the Australian’s game and Medvedev has intimidating numbers in the last year on serve. If the Australian can hold his serve then he could take his chances in a tiebreak but that looks a long shot. Expect Medvedev to find at least one break per set and take this one.
Prediction: Medvedev in 2