Fixture: Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin
Date: 28 March 2021
Tournament: Miami Open 2021
Round: Third Round (Round of 32)
Venue: Miami, Florida
Category: ATP Masters 1000 Series
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,340,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin preview
Unarguably the most consistent player on the tour in the last six months, Daniil Medvedev is a big favorite at the Miami Open this year. The Russian comes into the Mastesr tournament on the back of a title run at Marseille, and for the first time in his career, as the top seed.
Medvedev made the final of the Australian Open earlier this year, where he lost to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The 25-year-old then had a freak result at Rotterdam earlier this month, where he lost to Dusan Lajovic in the first round.
But his Marseille win, alongside his excellent start in Miami, suggest that the loss in the Netherlands was an anomaly. The Russian crushed Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets in his opening fixture, winning 6-2, 6-2 in under an hour.
Australia's Alexei Popyrin has also looked in great touch in the tournament so far, winning both his matches in straight sets. He first beat Spain's Feliciano Lopez, before taking apart 30th seed Reilly Opelka with a 6-4, 6-2 scoreline.
Popyrin has already had a breakthrough season in 2021, winning his maiden ATP title in Singapore last month. He defeated top players like Marin Cilic and Alexander Bublik on the way to lifting that trophy, and subsequently climbed to a career-high ATP ranking of 82.
The 21-year-old should, needless to say, be brimming with confidence in Miami.
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin head-to-head
Daniil Medvedev and Alexei Popyrin have met twice on tour so far, with the Russian leading the head-to-head 2-0. Both their encounters have been at Grand Slams - Wimbledon 2019 and Australian Open 2020.
The first set played between the duo - a tie-breaker - was won by Popyrin. However, Medvedev has won six sets in a row against the Australian since then.
Daniil Medvedev vs Alexei Popyrin prediction
Daniil Medvedev is playing some of his best tennis right now. His big serve and powerful groundstrokes look better than ever, and the Russian is also exhibiting greater mental fortitude on the court.
Alexei Popyrin, on his part, is also at the peak of his nascent career so far. The Australian has tasted his first bit of title glory, and will definitely be hungry for more. Popyrin also has a powerful serve and excellent court coverage.
This will be an intense encounter between two young and confident players. However, Medvedev's experience might tilt the scales in his favor ever so slightly.
Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win in three sets.