Tuesday is start of the fourth round at the Sony Open, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami, and a number of past Winston-Salem Open players are still in the field. Here’s a rundown.
Two-time Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner who has thrived on American soil throughout his career is surprisingly making only his second trip to the fourth round in Miami. The big-serving Greensboro native survived a three-set battle with fellow Yank Donald Young in his first match before cruising past Spaniard Nicolas Almagro yesterday.
Next up for Isner is seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych. Berdych holds a 3-2 advantage in the five previous meetings between the two with Isner’s last win against the Czech coming in the 2012 Winston-Salem Open final.
Moving back into the top 10 in the ATP rankings last week for the first time since 2012, Isner could rise to as high as No. 9 next week, which would equal his career-high, depending on the results in Miami.
Isner’s opponent on Tuesday is 2012 Winston-Salem Open finalist Tomas Berdych who breezed through his opening matches against Stephane Robert and Joao Souza to reach the fourth round. Berdych reached back-to-back finals at Rotterdam and Dubai in February before a first round exit at Indian Wells and will be looking for a win to defend the quarterfinalist points he earned in Miami last year.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will take on defending champion Andy Murray in the fourth round in Miami. While taking on a member of the “Big Four” is always a challenge, Murray has certainly looked vulnerable in 2014 as he struggles to regain form after undergoing back surgery last fall.
Tsonga has had a day to recover after his 2 ½ hour marathon win over Marcos Baghdatis as he looks to reach the quarterfinals in Miami for the fourth time.
Tommy Robredo will face off against the bookmakers’ favorite in Miami, No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, looking for his first win in six tries against the Serb. The Spaniard is essentially playing with house money in the rankings after missing out on Miami last year as he looks to pick up enough points to push him back into the top 15 for the first time since 2010.
Few players have been hotter of late than Alexandr Dolgopolov. The perennial Winston-Salem Open competitor has jumped 31 spots in the rankings to No. 23 in only a month’s time after reaching two semifinals and a final in his past three tournaments.
To keep his hot streak going, Dolgopolov will have to get past Stanislas Wawrinka, who broke the Big Four Grand Slam stranglehold by winning the Australian Open in January. Dolgopolov and Wawrinka have split their only two previous meeting with the Swiss winning the most recent matchup in the 2012 US Open.