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2019 Miami Open: Djokovic Set to Dominate in South Beach

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Tennis

Mar 19, 2019 · 10:34 AM PDT

Novak Djokovic was this year's Australian Open winner
Novak Djokovic is favored to win two Grand Slam titles in 2019. Photo by Carine06 from UK (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has won six ATP Miami Open titles
  • He’s shares the tournament mark for singles wins with Andre Agassi
  • John Isner won the 2018 Miami Open

When he gets to Miami, Novak Djokovic is just like Will Smith. He’s bringing the heat.

Can y’all feel that?

If you’re a pro tennis player who’s opposed Djokovic in the ATP Miami Open, then you’ve already felt it.

2019 Miami Open Men’s Singles Odds

Player Odds to Win 2019 Miami Open Men’s Singles
Novak Djokovic +135
Roger Federer +325
Alexander Zverev +1400
Milos Raonic +1400
Dominic Thiem +1800
Kei Nishikori +1800
Marin Cilic +2800
Kevin Anderson +3300
Nick Krygios +3300
Stefanos Tsitsipas +3300
John Isner +4000
Borna Coric +5000
Denis Shapovalov +5000
Karen Khachanov +5000
Stan Wawrinka +5000
Grigor Dimitrov +6600
Gael Monfils +6600
Roberto Bautista Agut +6600

*Odds taken on 03/19/19. 

Djokovic has won the tournament a record six times.

He shares the tournament record for most men’s singles titles with Andre Agassi. Agassi won six Miami Opens between 1990-2003 and played in the final eight times.

Novak’s South Beach Diet

Djokovic was just 17 and the No. 10 seed when he defeated Guillermo Canas in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to capture the 2007 Miami Open. It was the first Masters 1000 title of Djokovic’s ATP career.

He lost the 2009 final 6-2, 7-5 to Andy Murray. Djokovic would rattle off back-to-back Miami Open titles in 2011-12. He beat Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7-4) in 2011, and avenged his loss to Murray via a 6-1, 7-6(7-4) verdict in 2012.

Three more Djokovic titles followed from 2014-16. He defeated Nadal (6-3, 6-3), Murray (7-6(7-3), 4-6, 6-0), and then 6-3, 6-3 over Kei Nishikori in 2016.

A right elbow injury forced Djokovic to withdraw from the tournament in 2017. Last year, he was upset 6-3, 6-4 by France’s Benoit Paire in second-round play.

Isner Looks to Defend

With his 6–7(4–7), 6–4, 6–4 triumph over frequent tournament bridesmaid Alexander Zverev, in the 2018 final, John Isner became the first American player to win the Miami Open since Andy Roddick in 2010.

There were early upsets suffered by Djokovic and Roger Federer, and the injury-related absences of Nadal and Murray took the big four out of Isner’s path. It wasn’t necessary for him to deal with any of them.

Ranked No. 9 by the ATP, the 6-10 Isner was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He seems to save some of his best tennis for the American southeast. Along with last year’s win in Miami, he’s won the last five Atlanta Open titles.

Who are the Contenders?

Already, a couple of players worth watching have bowed out of the tournament.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal withdrew. It’s due to the same knee injury that forced him to forfeit his semifinal match to Federer Saturday at Indian Wells.

Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, 21st overall the ATP rankings and a 2018 Miami Open semifinalist, is also out of the event. He’s suffering from a shoulder ailment.

Nadal is the only one among the world’s top 10 players who aren’t entered in Miami.

Nadal is the only one among the world’s top 10 players who aren’t entered in Miami. Federer is fresh off his final appearance in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. He won the Miami Open title for the third time in 2017.

Zverev will be back. He’s seeking to go one step further than last year. Nishikori, the 2016 losing finalist, is also entered.

Isner, Federer, and Djokovic are the only former champs in the field. Djokovic hasn’t played tournament tennis since he captured the Australian Open, dropping just two sets.

Unless he suffers from rust, this is Djokovic’s tournament to win.

Pick: Novak Djokovic (+135)

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