Previewing the Favorites and Dark Horses in the Miami Open Men's Draw

Previewing the Favorites and Dark Horses in the Miami Open Men's Draw

4 min read

Miami, Fla. — After scoring the biggest win of his life over Rafael Nadal to win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Taylor Fritz (15.84) will be the center of attention in Miami. The Miami Open is underway with first-round men’s matches starting Wednesday and seeds like Fritz kicking off their campaigns on Friday.

"It's crazy," Fritz said. "I didn't go into Indian Wells thinking that I was going to win the tournament obviously. I kind of just took it one match at a time; played who was in front of me."

While some fans are still missing the previous tournament site on Key Biscayne, the Hard Rock Stadium is getting bigger and better every year. Adding to the party atmosphere, there's added seating like lounge chairs and picnic tables, more dining and drinking vendors than ever, a gondola for a birds-eye view, and even a speakeasy hidden inside the stadium.

With the help of Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, let’s take a look at who’s favored to thrive in the South Florida heat.

The Favorites

Daniil Medvedev (16.21) sits at the top of the INSIGHTS list with a solid 23% chance of winning his first Miami crown. Noticeably absent are both Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The INSIGHTS Tournament Odds Favorites

(1) Daniil Medvedev — 23%

(2) Alexander Zverev — 14%

(14) Carlos Alcaraz — 10%

(3) Stefanos Tsitsipas — 7%

(10) Cameron Norrie — 7%

(4) Matteo Berrettini — 6%

(9) Jannik Sinner — 4%

(11) Taylor Fritz — 3%

Medvedev, the top seed, could face wild card Andy Murray in his opening round—which would make for quality entertainment very early in the tournament. Medvedev is playing in just his fourth career Miami Open with his best run being a quarterfinal appearance last year.

With 14% odds of going all the way, Alexander Zverev (16.11) is at the bottom of the draw as the No. 2 seed. He hasn’t gotten any momentum going yet and has a challenge right off the bat in a returning Borna Coric. Zverev reached the Miami final back in 2018.

"I mean, in the big scheme of things, Indian Wells was always a tournament for me where I lose second or third round," Zverev told press. "If we're being realistic. Here, on the other hand, I have made the finals. Of course, when we played back at Key Biscayne , I made my first quarterfinal of a Masters ever."

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz (16.09) occupies the third spot when it comes to UTR Rating and INSIGHTS-based favorites in Miami. With Alcaraz's nationality, playing style, and penchant for sleeveless tees, the comparisons to Nadal have been countless. The teen just pushed Nadal to three sets in the Indian Wells semifinals.

Alcaraz is in the same section as No. 21 seed Marin Cilic and No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is just behind Alcaraz on the tournament-winning odds list at 7% (tied with Cameron Norrie).



The Dark Horses

Fritz isn’t technically a dark horse but with a No. 11 seeding, he is a floating force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old has landed in the same section as No. 23 seed Karen Khachanov and No. 7 Felix Auger-Aliassine.

Fritz had an ankle injury going into the Indian Wells final against Nadal but he comes to Miami armed with a promising MRI result and seems ready to go.



"The last day of the tournament just was a lot with my ankle—thinking that I wasn't going to be able to play the final, then playing the final and feeling really good in it," Fritz told press. "Obviously, just really, really happy to get the first Masters 1000 title. Then to be here thinking there's probably a good chance I'll be able to play here."

In the same section of the draw as Fritz sits Sebastian Korda (15.67), who demolished his first opponent Alexander Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-1 on Thursday. He'll play Albert Ramos-Vinolas next, with a potential clash with Auger-Aliassime after that. Notably, his UTR Pro Tennis Tour (PTT) ranking, based on UTR Rating, is No. 23 compared to his ATP ranking of No. 38.

Possible Surprises

One of the most exciting unseeded dark horses is 21-year-old Jenson Brooksby (15.79). He’s favored at 41% to reach the round of 16 where Medvedev could be waiting. Since coming onto the scene in 2021 with a run to the Newport final, Brooksby has established himself inside of the ATP Top 40 with his second ATP final appearance, in Dallas last month. His PTT ranking is No. 16.

In Indian Wells, Brooksby thrilled American fans by shocking Tsitsipas in three sets. He'll be making his Miami Open main-draw debut on Thursday.

Thanasis Kokkinakis (15.42) breezed through qualifying and eased past Richard Gasquet in the first round to set up a battle with No. 13 seed Diego Schwartzman (15.58). Kokkinakis has a 43% chance of upsetting the Argentinian to reach the third round. The 25-year-old Australian has pulled off huge upsets in Miami before, memorably taking out Roger Federer in the second round in 2018.


Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, March. 24, 2022.

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