Miami Men’s Semi-Finals Provide Fresh Matchups


STARNBERG, March 30, 2021

In the sweltering heat of Miami, there were quite a few upsets as top seeds and favourites tumbled to make way for young pretenders to make their mark in the men’s game. For the women’s results in Miami, see this report.

Semifinal One

In form and top seed Daniil Medvedev, who had recently hit rank No. 2 in the world, couldn’t withstand the pressure from Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who made short work of him in just an hour and a half, 6-4, 6-2. Bautista Agut’s head-to-head record now stands at 3-0 over the Russian.

Bautista Agut will play 19-year-old phenom, 21st seed Italian Jannik Sinner, who fought hard in an extremely entertaining 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Kazakh Alexander Bublik. Bublik, who has had his fair share of games with outrageous and crowd-pleasing shots, didn’t disappoint as his blistering forehands pushed Sinner to his limit in each of the two sets.

This will be only the second match between Sinner and the more experienced Bautista Agut. They had played just a few weeks ago in Dubai, where Sinner edged it in three sets. Despite this, 7th seed Bautista Agut goes in as a very slight favourite (-125) to proceed to his first Miami final. Regardless of the outcome, this has already been another huge step in the meteoric rise of budding superstar Sinner.

Semifinal Two

The second match will be between 1st time Masters 1000 semi-finalists 4th seed Andrey Rublev and 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz. The Pole, Hurkacz scored a stunning comeback win over 2nd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, upsetting him 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 with the help of 15 aces, despite being a set, a break, and two break points down. Latest results and live scores are available here.

Fresh off a title win in the Delray Beach Open, Hurkacz now has eight consecutive wins in Florida and will be looking to make it 9 against tough contender Russian Rublev. In yet another battle where the youngsters got to show off their talent, 23-year-old Rublev just about held off 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda, who also looks like one to keep an eye out in the future, 7-5, 7-6(7).

But, Rublev is the one shining now, and despite having lost in three in the only other time they played (which was on clay in Rome 2020), he is the strong favourite for this game against the 24-year-old. His only losses since the post-Covid break return have come against top 10 players, apart from one against compatriot Aslan Karatsev.

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Russian domination the men’s tour

Speaking of Karatsev, who has had one of the latest and possibly, fastest ascents in ATP history, he is still the lowest-ranked (27) of the four Russians currently occupying the top 30 in the men’s rankings. Ranked outside the top 100 at the start of the year, Karatsev, along with Medvedev, Rublev and Donskoy, guided Team Russia to an emphatic win in the ATP Cup earlier in the year, taking down teams that included Fognini, Berrettini, Nishikori and Schwartzman.

Three Russians also made it to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in February. Karatsev took another major step in climbing up the ranking when he won the Dubai Tennis Championships just before Miami. We can now expect to see major dominance from Russia in the coming years.