By: Brenden Campbell

With little time to recover from what was an epic tournament in Indian Wells, the world’s top players travel to Florida for the second half of 2018’s March Masters. Here’s  a quick preview of what should shape up to be an exciting Miami Open.

Top Seeds

Men’s Draw

  1. Roger Federer
  2. Marin Cilic
  3. Grigor Dimitrov
  4. Alexander Zverev
  5. Juan Martin del Potro
  6. Kevin Anderson
  7. David Goffin
  8. Jack Sock

Women’s Draw

  1. Simona Halep
  2. Caroline Wozniacki
  3. Garbine Muguruza
  4. Elina Svitolina
  5. Karolina Pliskova
  6. Jelena Ostapenko
  7. Caroline Garcia
  8. Venus Williams

Draw Analysis

At age 37, Roger Federer is still on top of the tennis pyramid. He highlights the men’s side of the Miami draw as a heavy favorite despite being defeated by Juan Martin Del Potro in the Indian Wells final last week. Federer boasts a 2018 record of 17-1 coming into Miami, which is the best start to a season the tennis great has ever had. He will also be in the half opposite of Del Potro, so a rematch of the Indian Wells final could be in the works. However, both players will have to eliminate some big names en route to the championship match. Federer will face a tough 3rd round match against Fernando Verdasco and will potentially face #6 seed Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals. Del Potro will have to defeat Kei Nishikori, former world #1 Novak Djokovic, and #3 seed Grigor Dimitrov to secure an opportunity to back up his Indian Wells crown with another win. NextGen star Alexander Zverev has the toughest draw of the tournament, given his recent struggles. American Sam Querrey and Indian Wells semifinalist Borna Coric are both candidates to knock out Zverev early.

On the women’s side of the draw, newly crowned Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka will have to start her Miami campaign right where she left off, drawing Serena Williams in round 1 and #4 seed Elina Svitolina in round 2. #19 seed Daria Kasatkina follows up her Indian Wells final run by drawing a 2nd round match against Belinda Bencic and could face #6 seed Jelena Ostapenko in the round of 16. Victoria Azarenka faces off against 18 year old American CiCi Bellis in what will most likely be the most exciting first round match. Another young American, 16 year old Amanda Anisimova, will look to follow up a breakout performance in Indian Wells. She will face #3 seed Garbine Muguruza in the second round.

Early Round Matches to Watch

CiCi Bellis vs. Victoria Azarenka

Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka

Garbine Muguruza vs. Amanda Anisimova

Taylor Fritz vs. Pierre Hugues Herbert

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Daniil Medvedev

Championship Predictions

Simona Halep def. Elina Svitolina in straight sets

Roger Federer def. Milos Raonic in straight sets