Roger Federer has got a decent start to his 2019 campaign and reached a milestone by winning his 100th title at Dubai Duty Free Championships. He looked unstoppable in Indian Wells before he was tamed by Dominic Thiem in a nail-biting final.
In spite of that, Federer is still one of the favorites to win the Miami Open 2019; most believe he can beat any player on the planet on his day. On that note, let's have a look at the prospects of Federer winning the Miami Open title in the newly re-structured Hard Rock Stadium in Florida.
Federer will be facing Radu Albot in the second round, which is probably going to be an easy path into the third round - from where the actual competition begins for the Swiss.
In all likelihood, Federer will face his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the third round. Based on their last meeting at Indian Wells, this might be another routine victory for Federer.
His opponent for the 4th round could be the young and talented Russian Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev gave Federer a tough fight in their last meeting, at the Shanghai Masters in 2018.
In the quarters, Federer might face another stiff challenge from another young Russian - Karen Khachanov. One of the hardest strikers of the ball at the moment, Khachanov won the 2018 Paris Masters and could cause a lot of problems for Federer. If he can wear Federer out with his powerful groundstrokes, any result is possible.
If Federer gets past that obstacle, his probable semi-final opponent could be either Alexander Zverev or Stefanos Tsitsipas (if both the players are consistent in the first week). Both these youngsters know what it means to be at the top of the game, and have defeated Federer in the past.
If he overcomes all these hurdles, he will face his long-time rival Novak Djokovic for the title. Their last meeting at the Paris Masters in 2018 is an indication of how entertaining this match could be if it happens.
Federer's expected route to glory:
1) Roger Federer vs Radu Albot - Second round
2) Roger Federer vs Stan Wawrinka - Third round
3) Roger Federer vs Daniil Medvedev - Fourth round
4) Roger Federer vs Karen Khachanov - Quarter-finals
5) Roger Federer vs Tsitsiaps/Zverev - Semi-finals
6) Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic - Finals
Considering the abundant experience that Federer has, it seems quite possible that he will reach the final. But it is going to be a tough road for him as his route is filled with a pool of young talents who are expected to rule men's tennis in the coming years.Published 23 Mar 2019, 00:20 IST